Home News Finalists revealed ahead of Laois’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 final

Finalists revealed ahead of Laois’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 final

IBYE 2019

15 Laois people are set to battle it out in three different categories at fifth Best Young Entrepreneur competition tomorrow.

The County Final of Laois’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 will take place in the Heritage Hotel in Killenard at 12.45pm on Thursday May 2.

Now in its fifth year, this dynamic competition is open to 18 to 35-year-olds who have an idea for starting a business or who are already running their own business.

With €50,000 up for grabs, competition will be fierce on the day.

Here, we have profiled each of the people who will aim to win in their respective categories.


Philip Mulpeter

Philip is a professional martial artist. His business idea is to set up a national amateur martial arts league and provide regular competition for adults, juniors and kids.

Claire Kirwan

Claire’s business idea is to create Junior and Leaving Certificate board games for subject specific classrooms. She is currently working on her final prototype.

Dr Diane Cooper

Dr. Diane Cooper has been a specialist researcher in obesity, insulin resistance and chronic disease for the past 15 years. Her business idea is based on developing a point-of-care device which will allow for the global measurement of insulin resistance.

Helen Doyle

Helen’s business idea ‘Mannequin’ is to revolutionise retail by turning e-commerce into a personalised physical experience for digital native shoppers.


Eamon Callaghan 

Based in Portlaoise, Vision 85 provides a creative space for start up and established businesses. Vision 85 is a co-working hub that facilitates a variety of office spaces, hot desks and conference rooms.

Marcin Duda

With outlets in Portlaoise and Mountmellick, the Sweet Bakery offers quality breads and cakes for all occasions. Marcin currently runs the business with his wife Patrycja and has trained at one of Poland’s top bakery and confectionary schools.

Aisling Kirwan

IntegriLeads is a lead generation company which schedules b2b appointments for clients. Aisling works with companies across all industries with a specific focus on IT.

Anthony Carroll

Based in Emo, DataHarp is a software development business, with a focus on software for the maintenance of management systems.


Alan Meredith

Alan set up the Alan Meredith Studio in 2015 and provides design and manufacturing services within the luxury furniture, architecture and landscape design sector. Alan won the ‘Best Start up Business’ in 2016.

Connor Magee

Connor is Operations Director in Allwood Architectural Joinery. Established in 1997, the company specialises in the design and manufacture  of specialised joinery for hotels, bars and commercial fit outs.

Darren Strong

DSsports was set up by Darren Strong in 2014 selling bespoke sportswear to clubs and schools all over Ireland. He also exports to a number of international markets.

Amie Colgon

Nuvo Personnel is a temporary recruitment specialist agency. Based in Portlaoise, Amie has been placing staff in jobs since opening the business in 2010.

Nikita O’Rourke

Fetch Your Pet Needs specialises in a natural approach to pet nuitrition and pet care. It launched as an online business in 2016.

Stephen Dowling

Stephen set up his business Dunmasc Genetics Ltd in 2014, supplying high-quality bovine semen to a global market. He won the ‘Best Established Business’ award in 2015.

John Duff

Portlaoise Springs Ltd is the largest distributor of commercial vehicle leaf springs in Ireland. The business has been trading since 1985, employing 10 local people and he plans to expand further.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.