GraceApp and Safefood360 runners-up in David Manley Awards

2 Feb 2012

Winner Lovett says, "It is critical that actors are upskilled to ensure that children and young audiences get the very best and more specifically, for the 'Holy Grail' of catering to young and old in the one audience."

Two technology start-ups – a creator of an innovative app for autism ‘GraceApp’ and a cloud software provider Safefood360 – were runners up in the David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards. The overall award went to Theatre Lovett and the media award went to business journalist Tom McEnaney.

The overall winner was a couple whose business and creative output has been described as “the theatrical equivalent of going to bed on Christmas Eve.”  Louis Lovett and Muireann Ahern run Theatre Lovett, which offers ‘Theatre as Adventure’ for children and the young-at-heart!’

Business journalist Tom McEnaney won the third David Manley Media Award. Tom was commended on his “dedication and commitment to regular coverage of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.” Last year’s media award was won by Silicon Republic editor John Kennedy, and the year before that by RTÉ broadcaster John Murray.

The aim of the David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards is to nurture and recognise the enterprising spirit in Business, the Arts and in Social/community.  It has become the premier award in Ireland for emerging enterprises.

Louis and Muireann win €10,000 in cash and over €100,000 worth of mentoring and consultancy services from a variety of blue chip companies – aiming to bring them up another step on the ladder to business success.  They are the ninth winners of the David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards.

The two runners-up this year Lisa Domican, GraceApp (winner of the Emerging Social Entrepreneur category) and George Howlett and Philip Gillen, Safefood360 (winner of the Emerging Business Entrepreneur category) will each receive €1,000 in cash and mentoring.

The 2012 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards were presented at a ceremony today at Mason Hayes & Curran offices on Barrow Street, Dublin by Dr. Chris Horn and ‘Dragon’. Norah Casey, CEO and wwner, Harmonia Publishing.  Dr. Horn chaired the panel of judges for the Awards.

Norah Casey commented: “These Awards celebrate Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit at a time when we need passionate visionaries. These extraordinary individuals bring an extra dimension to their fields of expertise which sets them apart from their peers. These emerging entrepreneurs shine a beacon of light for the next generation. I am immensely encouraged about our future when I see such courageous trail blazers who are prepared to innovate and push back the boundaries wherever they work.”

Dr. Chris Horn added: “The judges were looking for passionate and invigorating entrepreneurs who impressed and excited us – people with the same qualities that made David Manley such an iconic person.  We certainly found that energy in Louis and Muireann!

“All the finalists were special but they captivated the audience that was the judging panel!”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years