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Cork Independent

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Cork companies win through to IBYE finals

Thursday, 26th January, 2017 1:00am

Three Cork entrepreneurs have clinched spots in the national final of the €2m Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition in Dublin this March.

The regional winners across three categories, who will go forward to the national final, were selected at the IBYE Regional Final in Dungarvan last week.

Fiona Edwards Murphy, Apis Protect from Kanturk from Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West won the Best New Idea category to represent the Cork and Waterford Region.

The 25 year old entrepreneur now has the opportunity, along with 23 other national finalists, to become Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur and share in a €100,000 winner’s investment fund.

The two other national finalists selected by the judging panel are Mark Moriarty, Awesound, from Leo Cork South in the Best Start Up Business Category and Richard Barrett, Pundit Arena, from LEO Cork South in the Best Established Business.

Kevin Curran, the Head Of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West, congratulated the local entrepreneurs, saying: “Our search to find and support Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs, which started last September, has turned up some incredible business talent. Our local entrepreneurs are the business leaders of the future and the entrants in the competition have all shown innovation and drive.

“After a very successful bootcamp, county final and now regional final, the county will be proudly represented in the ultimate stage of the competition.”

Judging takes place in early March and each finalist will have the opportunity to pitch their business plan to the judging panel. They will be assessed on criteria such as the level of innovation in their business, the potential for future job creation and their leadership skills.

Apis Protect helps bee-keepers to prevent losses and increase the productivity of their hives through the use of unique in-hive sensors and data processing technology.

Aimed at 18 to 35 year olds, the IBYE initiative is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally and help develop new products for international markets.

A record 1,842 young entrepreneurs submitted entries to the current competition, a 32 per cent increase on the previous year.

Competition details and results are available from www.ibye.ie and information around the supports available to young entrepreneurs through the Local Enterprise Offices is available from www.localenterprise.ie.

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