Chris Kelly pins down position as Limerick’s Best Young Entrepreneur

  • Limerick's IBYE Young Entrepreneur Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly from Pinpoint Innovations named as Limerick IBYE Winner 2017

Chris Kelly from Pinpoint Innovations has been chosen as Limerick’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) at a gala ceremony in the Strand Hotel, Limerick last night (13 November 2017).

Chris has also been selected as the Best Start-Up Business during the event which was attended by Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Stephen Keary, Minister of State at the Department of Finance Patrick O’Donovan and guest speaker Colm O Brien, CEO of Carambola Kids.

IBYE is a programme run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), including LEO Limerick with the support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

The competition is open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business.

Now in its 4th year, IBYE has an investment fund of up to €2 million and there is a €50,000 county investment fund on offer to local winners and runners-up in Limerick.

IBYE is run locally by Local Enterprise Office Limerick across three categories: Best Business Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business.

IBYE Young Entrepreneur Three Winners
Paddy Finn, Electricity Exchange, Best Established Business, Chris Kelly, Pinpoint Innovations, Overall Winner and Best Start-Up Business and Padraic Hayes, myBEV.ie Best Idea Category

The winners were:

  • Overall Limerick’s Best Young Entrepreneur and Best Start up Business: Chris Kelly - Pinpoint Innovations Ltd
  • Best Idea Category: Padraic Hayes- myBEV.ie
  • Best Established Business: Dr Paddy Finn- Electricity Exchange

Addressing the awards ceremony, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the cities, towns and villages across the country. I’m delighted to hear that yet again this year there has been an increase in the number of entries in Limerick and I’m confident that all of them have very good ideas, which will yield results when further developed.”

“The future of entrepreneurship in Limerick looks extremely bright. Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition has shown that Limerick has a wealth of young entrepreneurs ready to make a difference to the Limerick economy, initially, and then further afield.”

IBYE Young Entrepreneur Mayor of Limerick Stephen Keary
Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise LEO Limerick, Minister Patrick O'Donovan, Mayor Stephen Keary, Meghann Scully, MC and Colm O'Brien CEO Carambola Kids at IBYE Limerick Finals

Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise for LEO Limerick said: “Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Limerick round of the IBYE. We had a huge response to the competition this year and judging by the calibre of entries this year, the future of enterprise in Limerick is looking bright.”

“Best of luck to Chris, Padraic and Paddy as they move forward in the competition and in their business ventures. And best of luck to all the entrepreneurs who entered IBYE this year. Continue to work on your ideas and continue to engage with LEO Limerick, as we are there to help.”

Overall winner of the Limerick IBYE was 20-year-old Chris Kelly from Clarina, Co Limerick. His company is Pinpoint Innovations Ltd, which has developed Tracworx in collaboration with the peri operative care team at the University Hospital Limerick. Tracworx is a patient tracking system that creates a holistic patient journey, driving hospital efficiencies, ultimately leading to better patient care.

Chris said: “I was delighted and shocked to win the Best Start-Up Business award and I was absolutely ecstatic when I was announced as the overall winner. It is a huge achievement for our team and it has really resonated with my business partners.”

“LEO Limerick has supported us all the way from the very beginning. Our first investor was LEO Limerick and they are continuing to support us with advice, funding and training, anything we’ve ever asked them for they have been able to help us.”

“The prize money is going to be huge for our business. We will be scaling up, add a few more members to our team, so fingers crossed it will add benefit to Limerick as well.”

The winners and runners-up in Limerick will share in an investment fund of €50,000 which will help them to grow their business and build on current success.

Category winners will go forward to represent Limerick in the regional finals on Tuesday 16 January 2018 in Ballygarry House Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry where they will compete with the winners from Kerry, Clare and Tipperary for the right to compete in the national finals.

The National Finals will take place on Sunday 4 March 2018 at Google HQ and the winners of the competition will share in an investment fund of €100,000.

You can follow the competition on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.

Best Business Idea

  • Winner Padraic Hayes - My interest in Business began while working in our family business. I graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with an honours degree in Business. Fortunately I was offered the Kerry Group Graduate Programme beginning in 2015, working across Denmark, United Kingdom, Poland and Ireland, which was an exciting and valuable experience. I’m currently with Kerry Group in Naas Co. Kildare in Operations Finance, and was awarded the ‘Entrepreneurship’ award from our CFO in 2016 for finding and delivering cost saving opportunities.
  • Runner-Up John O’Reilly - A graduate of LIT, with ten years experience in system architecture and software engineering. Director of the company 'Protectorate Solutions Ltd.' which aims to aid small to medium enterprises in compliance with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation requirements through their new software solution.

Best Established Business

  • Winner Dr. Paddy Finn, Electricity Exchange - Electricity Exchange is a Virtual Power Station operating in Ireland’s Electricity Market. Since September 2014, the Limerick Company has grown to a multi-million-euro annual turn-over and can now power over 75,000 homes while supporting renewable generation. Staff numbers have doubled in the last 12 months and the company is now moving to a larger facility to allow further expansion.
  • Runner-Up Eric McNulty – McNulty’s Fuels - Eric McNulty is 28 and from Hospital, Co. Limerick. Eric is the Managing Director of McNulty’s Fuels – a forecourt retailer in the town.  He reached the county final of the IBYE competition in 2015 before winning the Best Service Business Limerick Award in the 2016 National Enterprise Awards.

Best Start Up Business

  • Winner Chris Kelly – Pinpoint Innovations - Pinpoint Innovations over the last 14 months has developed Tracworx in collaboration with the peri operative care team at the University Hospital Limerick. Tracworx is a patient tracking system that creates a holistic patient journey, driving hospital efficiencies, ultimately leading to better patient care.
  • Runner-Up Gerard O’Shea – Develop Me Ltd. - Gerard graduated from the University of Limerick with a B.A. in Law and Accounting (1.1). After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he completed an MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology. Gerard established Develop Me Ltd. in 2016, providing the highest quality experiential learning training programmes to the education market.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is an enterprise initiative run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) around the country and funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. A €2 million investment fund is available through IBYE which supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.

IBYE was open to people between the ages of 18 (at date of application) and 35 (at 31st December 2017) with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business, including: individuals, venture teams, partnerships, existing businesses with a new idea, or people overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland.

Each LEO will have a total fund of up to €50,000 to invest in six businesses (three category winners and three runners-up) according to criteria including businesses’ investment needs. The three categories are as follows:

  • Best Business Idea (pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
  • Best Start-Up Business (up to 18 months), with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)
  • Best Established Business (over 18 months) with up to €20,000 investment fund through every LEO (€15,000 for category winner and €5,000 for runner-up, through every LEO)

The county winners will proceed to eight regional finals in January and February 2018 from which 24 contenders (three from each region – one in each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. A further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national final, one of which will also be named with the prestigious title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

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