Eamon Keane, CEO and co-founder of Xpreso, has been named winner of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition at an event in Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.
Keane dropped out of his PhD studies when he co-founded parcel-tracking software company Xpreso in 2013. The Dublin start-up has since won NDRC’s Lift Off competition – the culmination of the LaunchPad accelerator – and signed up Ireland’s biggest independent courier company as a client.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, presented Keane with his award at the first-ever national final for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur on Sunday, 7 December.
The 28-year-old software entrepreneur from Templeogue, Dublin, also took home the Best Start-up Award on the night.
The nationwide competition forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs with an overall investment fund of €2m awarded to county and national winners.
Keane’s win comes with €50,000 investment for Xpreso, while €30,000 was awarded to Dean Gammell and The Group System for winning Best Established Business with Add On, and €20,000 went to Philip Martin and Blanco Niño for Best New Idea.
All three companies have also won a place in Google’s Adopt a Start-up programme next year.
All 31 of Ireland’s Local Enterprise Offices hosted the competition with the aim of encouraging young people to become entrepreneurs.
Job creators of the future
“In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs – we just don’t have enough of them,” said Bruton.
“Two-thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups and so we must encourage more young people to consider starting a business as a career choice – to become the job creators of the future.”
More than 1,000 entrepreneurs applied and this list was narrowed down to 24 finalists from 17 counties competing for the overall title.
“I’ve been personally massively inspired by the energy, commitment and sheer quality of these young businesspeople. We are relying on these young entrepreneurs to create the jobs of tomorrow, and I am determined to ensure that Government supports them in every way possible on their journey,” Bruton added.
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