Texthelp’s Martin McKay named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022

1 Dec 2022

Martin McKay, Texthelp. Image: Naoise Culhane

There were many tech entrepreneurs in the running for the title this year, with the founders of medtech start-up OneProjects recognised in the emerging category.

Texthelp CEO Martin McKay has been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022.

McKay was one of the founding members of the Antrim-based business, which was set up in 1996 to help people with communication difficulties. Now its assistive tech and edtech software helps people around the world to read, write and communicate.

McKay has led an expansion of Texthelp in recent years, including the acquisitions of Sweden’s Oribi, the education technology division of Don Johnston and Danish firm Wizkids. The company now employs 350 people and has doubled its turnover since 2020.

McKay received the title at an EY event last night (30 November). The annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards recognise founders and leaders from across the island of Ireland who are making a mark at home and abroad.

This year, 29 people representing 25 companies were shortlisted across three categories – for emerging, established and international businesses.

The 2022 finalists collectively have revenues in excess of €1bn, and there were many Irish tech players in the running.

The winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards stand in a line with their trophies.

From left: Stephen Nolan of Nutritics, Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger of OneProjects, Jenny Melia of Enterprise Ireland, Martin McKay of Texthelp, and Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack of Conack Construction. Image: Naoise Culhane

McKay was named winner in the international category as well receiving the overall top award.

Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger of OneProjects were the winners in the emerging entrepreneur category.

The duo founded the medtech start-up in 2017 and it now has bases in Dublin and Munich. OneProjects is developing 4D cardiac imaging technology to help with the treatment of heart conditions, and raised $17m last year for its work.

Meanwhile, Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack, co-founders of Limerick’s Conack Construction, were named Established Entrepreneur of the Year.

A new special Sustainability Award was also given to Stephen Nolan of Nutritics, recognising the company’s carbon footprint scoring, display and reporting system for food businesses.

Roger Wallace, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said each of the winners have demonstrated “cutting-edge, innovative thinking and new ways of working” in their industries.

“It’s also noteworthy that many of this year’s finalists and two of our winners are from Ireland’s indigenous technology industry – a true testament to the resilience, diversity, and continued strength in this sector.”

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Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic