Twenty-four of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs have been named as finalists for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY) Programme 2013.  

Going head-to-head with over 150 of Ireland’s best entrepreneurs from across the island, the 24 finalists were selected from three categories – emerging, industry and international.  The entrepreneurs’ businesses represent a diverse range of sectors from financial services and technology to agriculture and manufacturing.

Announcing the shortlist, Ernst & Young’s Frank O’Keeffe, Partner-in-Charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Programme, said “The 24 selected finalists are significantly contributing to the creation of new jobs and opportunities in today’s challenging business environment, advancing innovation and creating value in Ireland and globally.” He continued “We would like to wholeheartedly welcome this year’s finalists to our unique community of Ireland’s best entrepreneurs and look forward to supporting, celebrating and challenging them throughout this year’s programme.”

Poised to be the most ambitious EOY programme to date, the finalists will join a group of 100 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of the EOY programme, for a week-long CEO Retreat taking place between Chicago, Notre Dame University and New York in June.  The itinerary for the CEO Retreat is centred around accelerating the growth, ambition and development of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurial talent and their businesses.  The week will include world-class executive education sessions with globally renowned experts in growth and internationalisation, as well as master classes with CEOs of some of the world’s biggest multinationals.

After a rigorous judging process chaired by 2002 EOY winner, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, the entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel of leading figures in Irish business including Denis O’Brien, Ann Heraty and Liam Casey.

“The calibre of entrepreneur that applied to this year’s programme was truly outstanding” commented O’Keeffe at today’s announcement. “Incorporating the future emerging entrepreneurial talent, the well-known domestic names and some of Ireland’s most established global players, the finalists are a true showcase of the remarkable talent, innovation and ingenious spirit that is alive and well across our island”.

Each category and the overall winner of the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards will be announced at the EOY Gala Night taking place in Dublin on October 24th.  The overall winner will then go on to participate in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2014.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Programme is supported by the Irish Times, Newstalk, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Finalists are:


Automated Intelligence – Mark Godfrey & Simon Cole

Barracuda FX – Maurice Curran

Budget Energy – Eleanor McEvoy

Datahug – Connor Murphy

Merit Software – Kerril Burke & Paul Burke

Sixteen South – Colin Williams

Sugru – Jane ní Dhulchaointigh

Wisetek Solutions – Sean Sheehan


AMCS Group – Jimmy Martin & Austin Ryan

Creagh Concrete Products – Seamus McKeague

Freshgrass Group – Liam Woulfe

Jam Media – John Rice

Keelings – Caroline Keeling

Kylemore Services Group – Brian Hogan

Mash Direct – Martin Hamilton

Kellen Investments – Peter Dixon


ATA Group– Peter Cosgrove

Callan Bacon Company – John Walshe

Escher Group Holdings plc – Liam Church & Fionnuala Higgins

Lifes2Good – James Murphy

Samco Agricultural Manufacturing – Samuel Shine

Sofrimar – Lorcan Barden & Leslie Bates

Suretank Group – Patrick Joy

Voxpro – Dan Kiely & Linda Kiely