2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Press Release                                                                           16 May 2011

Shortlisted entrepreneurs leading the way to economic recovery

Announcement of the shortlist for the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Programme

24 of Ireland’s premier business leaders have been shortlisted for the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award 2011.  A record 140 nominations were received for this year’s awards. Speaking at the announcement of this year’s shortlist, Frank O’Keeffe, Ernst & Young Partner-in-Charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Programme spoke of the unprecedented level of interest for this year’s awards and acknowledged the unique contribution made by Ireland’s entrepreneurial community.

“As Ireland continues on the path to economic recovery, we need to look towards the future and celebrate our entrepreneurs and their businesses. The record number of nominations received this year is a testament to the resilience and ambition of these exceptional individuals and the teams supporting them. The entrepreneurial business community continues to prove that businesses in Ireland can and do still succeed in extremely challenging business conditions, both domestically and globally. The unyielding ambition and drive demonstrated by these finalists should inspire us all and will be vital to help ensure the next generation of economic success across the island”.

Padraig O’Ceidigh, Chairman of Aer Arann and winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in 2002, is once-again Chair of the 11-strong panel of judges.

The 24 businesses that have made it to the final stages have a combined turnover close to €600 million and employ a staggering 11,000 individuals. Eight companies have been selected in each of three categories – Emerging; Industry; and International – representing a diverse array of business sectors ranging from insurance, food production, engineering to online services. Winners from each of these three categories, in addition to the recipient of the overall Entrepreneur Of The Year® award, will be announced at a televised Gala Awards Ceremony to be held in October.

This year’s finalists will be joined by members of the programme’s extended entrepreneurial community at the annual CEO Retreat, which will take place in India in June. During the week-long trip, participants will engage in a number of workshops and leadership strategy sessions, meet with key Indian industry leaders, and develop a wide network of contacts, all of which will assist the Entrepreneur Of The Year® community to develop and build on their own winning strategies.

The 24 finalists are:

Annadale Technologies – Denis McCarthy
Blue Insurances Ltd/ Multitrip.com- Ciaran Mulligan & Rowan Devereux
Bubblebum UK Ltd – Grainne Kelly
Joule – Ronan Ginnell & Ian Barrett
Crospon – John O’Dea
Crowley Carbon Ltd – Norman Crowley
The Now Factory – Tom Morrisroe
Dublin Aerospace – Conor McCarthy


Homecare Independent Living – Mairead Mackle
PFH Technology Group Limited – Paul Hourican
Itsabagel Ltd – Domini & Peaches Kemp
Largo Food Exports – Raymond Coyle
Noonan – John O’Donoghue
Argento – Peter Boyle
Centre For English Studies – Justin Quinn
Version 1 – Justin Keatinge


Openet – Joe Hogan & Niall Norton
Telestack Limited – Adrian McCutcheon
Texthelp Systems Limited – Mark McCusker
MJM Group – Brian McConville
Munster Simms Eng Ltd (Whale Water Systems) – Patrick Hurst
XSP – Brendan Farrell
Intune Networks Ltd – John Dunne
Sammon Contracting Group Ltd – Miceal Sammon

The 24 finalists will be profiled in the Irish Times over the next six weeks, and each finalist will also feature in a four part series to be televised on RTE in September and October.

Brian Conlon, founder and Chief Executive of First Derivatives Plc, was named as the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® and will represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year® Awards in Monte Carlo later this year, where he will compete for the global title.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® is part of a global recognition programme, to identify, acclaim and support entrepreneurs and is currently run in over 50 countries, across six continents. The Irish programme, now in its 14th year, continues to go from strength-to-strength, championing the spirit of enterprise and creating a new era of opportunities for participants.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme is supported by The Irish Times, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, Intertrade Ireland and Newstalk.


Media Contacts:

Valerie O’Reilly – Unicorn PR – 087 2388641

John Ward – Ernst & Young – 086 7801398

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