Sinéad Crowther of Soothing Solutions wins Founder of the Year

12 Oct 2023

Sinéad Crowther. Image: Maxwells

Based in Louth, Soothing Solutions was founded after Crowther recognised a demand for products that help children suffering from sore throats and coughs.

Sinéad Crowther, a pharmacy technician who became an entrepreneur six years ago, has been recognised by Enterprise Ireland as the high-potential start-up (HPSU) Founder of the Year.

Crowther is the co-founder and CEO of Louth-based Soothing Solutions, which manufactures a range of honey jelly pops called Tonstix that provide an alternative to children’s lozenges.

Soothing Solutions was founded in 2017 after Crowther recognised a demand for products that help children suffering from sore throats and coughs. She met her co-founder Denise Lauaki while on the New Frontiers entrepreneur programme at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Prior to co-founding the high-potential start-up, Crowther had been a pharmacy technician for more than two decades. She told judges at the event that Tonstix products are now stocked in more than 1,400 pharmacies across Ireland, and recently launched on Amazon UK.

Held at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin last night (12 October), the HPSU Founder of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of start-up founders in Ireland with a potential to scale their business internationally.

Crowther was one of four finalists at the event, who were in turn selected from a pool of 11 nominees who were voted for by peers taking part in the Enterprise Ireland HPSU Founders Forum over the last two years.

“Start-ups are a driving force of economic growth, new talent and innovation,” said Joe Healy, divisional manager of client services at Enterprise Ireland.

“Now in its fifth year, the Founder of the Year Awards promote Ireland’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs who have displayed the potential and commitment to building their businesses and realising their global ambition.”

The other nominees included Brendan Staunton of Amara Therapeutics, Brian Kenneally of Bundledocs, David Duffy of The Corporate Governance Institute, Patrick McDermott of DigiTally, Jonathan Bouchier-Hayes of Endowave, Darren Sexton of GuardYoo and Kate Scott of HoloToyz.

Crowther shared the stage with co-finalists Liam Dunne of Klearcom, Evelyn Kelly of Orphan Drug Consulting and Eamonn Costello of PatientMPower.

“Sinéad is an excellent example of a founder with a clear pathway to scaling globally and the potential to become a world leader in her field,” Healy said.

“I would also like to congratulate the ten other nominees, all of whom were shortlisted by their peers. Each of today’s nominees have achieved so much within their own fields of work.

“Their success is an inspiration for the next generation of founders coming up behind them who have the determination and resilience required to get their enterprises up and running.”

Previous Founder of the Year award winners include Mervyn O’Callaghan of CameraMatics, Brian Shields of Neurent Medical, John Ghent of Sytorus and Tony McEnroe of Sirius XT.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic