Check out the 24 finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021

13 May 2021

From left: Chupi Sweetman of Chupi, Roger Wallace from EY, and Niall Horgan of Gym+Coffee. Image: EY

The founders of Flipdish and LetsGetChecked are among the finalists for the annual competition.

Irish entrepreneurs from the areas of technology, health, retail and more are in the running for this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

EY has revealed 24 finalists from across the island of Ireland, representing companies that generate total annual revenues of more than €1.3bn.

‘The ability of entrepreneurs to embed the power of digital into all aspects of their businesses is reflected strongly in this year’s cohort’

Finalists from Ireland’s sci-tech scene include Conor and James McCarthy, the founders of food-ordering start-up Flipdish. The company has been expanding over the past year in response to the uptick in food ordering during the pandemic, and received a massive €40m funding boost earlier this year from Tiger Global Management.

Another finalist that has seen a major boost in business over the past year is Peter Foley of LetsGetChecked. After raising $71m last May, the at-home health testing start-up expanded into the area of Covid-19 testing and revealed plans to grow its team in Dublin.

John Browne from Kastus has also been named a finalist. The Irish start-up, which has developed a germ-killing coating that was found to be effective against the coronavirus, received funding last year through the European Innovation Council’s Accelerator Pilot.

Other finalists include Jim Darragh from Totalmobile, which recently acquired Dublin start-up GeoPal; Dr Xuemei Germaine from MicroGen Biotech, the IT Carlow spin-out that raised €3.47m last year; and Roisin Molloy from TriMedika, which has developed a non-contact thermometer.

“This year’s finalists highlight the vibrant diversity of the entrepreneurial landscape across the island of Ireland, with sectors including technology, consumer, leisure and healthcare all represented,” said Roger Wallace, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme.

“The ability of entrepreneurs to embed the power of digital into all aspects of their businesses is reflected strongly in this year’s cohort of finalists … along with the highest quality companies leading the way in health testing and antimicrobial technology, amongst others.”

EY Entrepreneur of the Year was held virtually for the first time ever last year, with Nicola Mitchell, founder and chief executive of Life Scientific, taking the top prize.

The finalists this year will compete across three categories – emerging, industry and international – and one overall winner will be selected as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 at an event in November. You can check out the full list of finalists below.

Emerging entrepreneurs:
  • Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney, Gym+Coffee
  • Lisa and Vanessa Creaven, Spotlight Oral Care
  • Aimee Connolly, Sculpted by Aimee
  • Chupi Sweetman, Chupi
  • Roisin Molloy, TriMedika
  • Conor and James McCarthy, Flipdish
  • Xuemei Germaine, MicroGen BioTech
  • John Browne, Kastus
Industry entrepreneurs:
  • David Henderson, Tobermore Concrete
  • Dominic Walsh, Hospital Services Limited
  • Brody Sweeney, Camile Thai
  • Joseph Doherty, Re-Gen Waste
  • Fergus Naughton, Peter Smith Engineering Services
  • Jim Darragh, Totalmobile
  • Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy
  • Michael McKinney, Inishowen Engineering
International entrepreneurs:
  • Brian O’Sullivan, Zeus Packaging
  • Peter Foley, LetsGetChecked
  • Michael Burke, Chanelle Pharma
  • Colin Lynch, EPS
  • Karl McHugh, Atlantic Dawn
  • Kevin Brennan, Modubuild
  • Jacqueline O’Reilly, KonFloor
  • Brian and Jackie Reid, Deli Lites

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic