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7 young Irish entrepreneurs to keep your eye on

Are these the future faces of Irish industry?

THERE’S A WEALTH of creativity and imagination in Ireland – and couple that with a smart business idea, and you’ve got yourself an entrepreneur.

We’ve selected the best and brightest of Ireland’s young business people, below, to show that there’s plenty to look forward to in the future faces of our industry.

Which business would you back?

1. Improper Butter

There are two young food entrepreneurs behind flavoured butter brand Improper Butter: Elaine Lavery and Hannah O’Reilly, who met while studying business and commerce in UCD a few short years ago. These flavoured butters are billed as cooking aides for home chefs, with the idea for them dreamt up while Lavery was a chalet chef in France during college. They’ve since appeared on Dragons’ Den, with their wares now stocked in SuperValu stores and independent food shops around the country.


2. The Express Dive

Inventor and University of Limerick graduate Cathal Redmond finished runner-up this month in the annual James Dyson Award competition – with a breakthrough device allowing underwater breathing. Having only graduated from college this past August, Redmond made waves with his one-litre air supply machine that allows divers to breathe underwater for up to two minutes without scuba apparatus. (Plus, he’s the first Irish student to place in the international awards during its 11-year history.)

diver Vimeo Vimeo

3. Beats Medical

Ciara Clancy launched Beats Medical at just 22 years of age back in 2012. The company grew out of Clancy’s work with sufferers of Parkinson’s and this year she was named the European winner in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Beats Medical offers sound wave treatment enabling patients to regain mobility via a smartphone app.

Beats Medical / YouTube

4. Food Cloud

Food Cloud was set up when founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien were in college and they discovered just how much unwanted food from shops and eateries goes wasted every year – a whopping million tons. They decided to act, and social enterprise Food Cloud was born. Food Cloud is an app that connects those with produce to spare with organisation that need food. Tesco was an early adopter, with the number of organisations using the streamlined app growing all the time.

food Food Cloud Food Cloud

5. Restored Hearing

This company started out as a Young Scientist project back in 2009, when co-founders Eimear O’Carroll and Rhona Togher finished as runners-up with their ideas to promote awareness and support for those experiencing tinnitus. The subscription-based online sound therapy service is able to guarantee a 15% reduction in the severity of a person’s tinnitus within the first month of treatment.

Sportsfile (Web Summit) Eimear speaking at Web Summit in 2014 Web Summit Web Summit

6. Groopeeze

Groopeeze takes the hassle out of group bookings. It’s all about making it easier to plan, manage and pay for group bookings online – a brainchild of UCD Innovation Academy graduate Darragh Kirby and Computer Science graduate Shane Murphy. The platform is currently being used by sites such as The Stags Balls and The Foxy Hen, revolutionising the way Irish stags and hens simply sort out what used to be a bit of a headache, organisation-wise. The idea also won at last year’s Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow Award.


7. Stripe

And last – but certainly not least – is Stripe. Stripe is a powerhouse of young Irish business acumen, with the company being valued at $5 billion in recent valuations. The tech-innovating brothers behind it, John and Patrick Collison, are just 25 and 27 respectively. Stripe employs 300 people, with the company’s premise essentially being making it easier for companies (such as Twitter and Kickstarter) to make payments online. The brothers first tasted business success with their first company Auctomatic, which was sold for a reported $5 million back in 2008.

Are you an entrepreneurial student or recent graduate with a business idea? Accenture, in assocation with NDRC, are looking for the Leaders of Tomorrow. Applications for the 2016 Awards are now open – but close this Sunday 6 December, so head on over to accenture.com now to find out more information on Accenture and its support of young Irish entrepreneurs. 

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