24 Irish entrepreneurs in running to be named Entrepreneur of the Year

3 May 2016

At the announcement of EOY 2016 are (l-r) InvestNI’s Ian Murphy, Cpl’s Anne Heraty (Chairperson of the EOY judging panel), programme director Sean Duffy, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead of the programme

EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards (EOY) has announced a total of 24 men and women in contention for the top prize.

With combined workforces of 3,000 people, a total turnover of nearly €450m between them and companies ranging from medical software to farming machinery, the 19th edition of the EOY in Ireland has revealed its candidates.

With mentoring, education programmes and an international ‘CEO retreat to Boston’ on offer, emerging, industry and international categories each have eight finalists, including Beats Medical, iCabbi and NewsWhip.

Beats Medical founder Ciara Clancy, who was also named Laureate for Europe at the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2015, spoke about her entrepreneurial journey at Inspirefest last summer.

“The finalists represent a fantastic mix of listed and private entrepreneur-led companies from a diverse range of sectors, including food, retail, technology, and manufacturing,” said Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead of the EOY programme.

“There is also a particularly strong spread of finalists from the burgeoning life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors in Ireland.”

Operating in more than 60 countries worldwide, more than 400 entrepreneurs have been shortlisted in previous editions. As part of the 10-month development programme, the finalists will join over 70 members of the EOY community in Boston this month.

As the finalists progress through the programme, the judging panel will determine the winners based on a number of criteria, including: innovation; value creation; strategic direction; financial performance; national and global impact, and the entrepreneur’s contribution to society and industry.

The overall winner will be announced in October, qualifying them for the international final the following June. Stripe’s Collison brothers took home the top prize at the Irish competition last year.

“We are looking forward to helping this year’s finalists put the necessary building blocks of funding, talent and innovation into place as they create their business legacy and we are proud to remain at the forefront of supporting and championing entrepreneurship in Ireland,” said McLoughlin.

EOY finalists


  • Kitman Labs – Stephen Smith
  • Oneview Healthcare PLC – Mark McCloskey
  • Tiger Stores – Niall Stringer and Gillian Maxwell
  • NewsWhip – Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney
  • Freshly Chopped Limited – Brian Lee
  • Beats Medical – Ciara Clancy
  • Q1 Scientific – Louise Grubb
  • Plotbox – Leona and Sean McAllister


  • 3fivetwo Group – Dr Suresh Tharma and Mr Ashok Songra
  • JMW Farms – Jim Wright
  • Leckey – James Leckey
  • M&M Contractors – Gareth Loye
  • Codd Mushrooms – Leslie Codd
  • Green Property – Stephen Vernon
  • TPI Group – Colin Culliton
  • Uform – Eamon Donnelly


  • Athlone Extrusions – James McGee
  • Kainos Group Plc – Brendan Mooney
  • MobileWebAdz – Kieran O’Keeffe
  • 3D4Medical – John Moore
  • Abbey Machinery – Clodagh Cavanagh
  • Prepaid Financial Services and eCOMM Merchant Solutions – Noel Moran
  • The Healy Group – Maurice Healy
  • iCabbi – Gavan Walsh

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic