Best Young Entrepreneurs in Laois
After weeks of anticipation, the winners of the Laois county final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur were announced after an enjoyable three-course lunch at the luxury Heritage Hotel in the Killenard. Laois received a record number of applications this year which were narrowed down to 9 finalists who pitched to a panel of judges last Wednesday. Speakers at the event included Cathaoirleach Laois County Council Catherine Fitzgerald and John Mulholland Chief Executive Laois County Council. The wait was over when the winners were announced by Evelyn Reddin Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Laois.
BEST BUSINESS IDEA CATEGORY WINNER
Name: Michael Casey
Idea: M.A.C Developments
Michael Casey an electro-mechanical engineer with an extensive background in heavy engineering and heating systems. His idea is to produce re-engineered hydrogen fuel cells for domestic and industrial heating applications. The product is the H2, a re-engineered highly efficient fuel cell from the automotive industry. The system aims to be almost a third of the running costs of conventional oil fired boilers and nearly half the price of running a conventional natural gas system. It is also completely eco friendly and easily installed into both homes and businesses. Currently there are no suppliers or manufactures of this type of product in Europe and only 3-4 know companies worldwide that are developing this type of technology, all of which are still in the development phase.
BEST START-UP BUSINESS CATEGORY
Name: Noel Walsh
Business: Walsh Agri
Noel Walsh started his agriculture business by selling Silostop products at the age of just 16. Noel has completed his first year of Agricultural Science at UCD but has decided to defer his studies in order to focus on expanding his business. Walsh Agri was established in 2014 selling natural products to improve grass growth and nutritional value. Walsh Agri products are eco-friendly and aim to help cut fertiliser bills and reduce the environmental impact of fertilisation. Walsh Agri aims to help farmers reach their optimum potential all year round with minimal harm to the environment. Walsh Agri offers a personalised service which is appreciated by farmers throughout Ireland. Noel is a strong sales person and enjoys regularly following up and meeting with customers.
BEST ESTABLISHED BUSINESS CATEGORY
Name: Stephen Dowling
Business: Dúnmasc Genetics
Stephen Dowling is the managing director of Dúnmasc Genetics, a fertility management company that provides both services and products to the agriculture industry; Dúnmasc Genetics initially centred upon providing two services to the farmer; embryo transfer and scanning. Due to success and demand, Stephen expanded into facilitating training courses including DIY Artificial Insemination, ultrasound scanning and hoof trimming. Dúnmasc Genetics then expanded into product sales and became distributor for HerdInsights, an animal health monitoring system and artificial insemination sales. Dúnmasc Genetics has excelled greatly in the provision of training courses and held 34% of the AI training market in Ireland in 2014.
Dúnmasc Genetics has established itself among the wider business community and was the winner of the ‘Emerging New Business’ award with the SFA in March 2015.
The title of “Laois Best Young Entrepreneur” was awarded to Michael Casey of M.A.C Developments.
The text and photo is courtesy of Local Enterprise Office Laois. To follow them on Linkedin click here.