Sunday, 17th December 2017
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Sixteen of Waterford's young entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for the Waterford final in the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition 2017.

The competition now in its fourth year is run by Waterford Local Enterprise Office. A €50,000 investment fund will be shared among three winners and three runners-up; three winners from this final will also go forward to the regional final to battle it out for a place in the prestigious national final.

The three finalists are selected from the Waterford shortlist under three categories, 'Best New Idea', 'Best Start-up' and 'Best Established Business'.

In order to help prepare the finalist for this stage of the competition, Waterford Local Enterprise Office hosted a three-day, intensive business Bootcamp. The bootcamp is designed to help participants to develop their ideas and businesses from concept stage to reality and to build a viable business plan and help to commercialise their business.

The awards ceremony will take place at Dooley's Hotel on the evening of Friday, November 24th, when three winners from the shortlisted entrepreneurs will be announced and the overall winner will also be awarded.

Speaking about the upcoming IBYE county final, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office Richie Walsh said, "The ideas, skill sets and talent amongst the young entrepreneurs in Waterford is of an incredibly high standard. The goal of the IBYE initiative and our Student Enterprise Awards is to encourage and support a culture of entrepreneurship amongst young people in the county; to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage the creation and development of new innovative businesses. We aim to support all of this year's finalists over the coming years by helping to further develop their business ideas and businesses and look forward to working with them to create an exciting business future."

The shortlisted 'Best Idea' (Pre Trading) category finalists are: Nickolas Boyle (Irish Whitetail Distillery); Rory Hannon (Coolbrook Yoghurt); Chloe Hehir (Vitaease); Jack Kirwan (AimFit); Shane Morrissey (QuoteMyBuild); Sinead O'Keeffe (AutoNíTech); Marc Power Mohecan Male Grooming and John Smith AgriCulture.

The shortlisted 'Best Start-Up' (Trading less than 18 months) category finalists are Anthony Cronin Flexiwage); Mark Feehan (Snack Revolution), Joe Gould (6 Pack Snacks); Bébhínn McGrath (BÉBHÍNN); and Justin Kearns (Tucr.io).

The shortlisted 'Best Established' (Trading more than 18 months) category finalists are Danielle Kennedy (Lloyds Hair), Jonathan Shaw (Partyrock Travel); Robbie Skuse (Kollect) and Conor Walsh (Encon).

More than 500 business owners and start-ups from around the country have already benefitted from intensive business boot camps and mentoring programmes through the network of Local

Enterprise Offices, as part of the competition. Over the past three years, Local Enterprise Office Waterford has invested a combined €150,000 in 8 businesses and 4 business ideas and €30,000 in assistance, training and mentoring the finalists in the competition.

News, results, and updates for 'Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur' competition is available through http://www.ibye.ie, http://www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford and by following #IBYE on social media.

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