Tralee Man Wins Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneur Award

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The overall “Best Young Entrepreneur” for the county was named as Rob Durran (age 34) who is Co-founder of the company Xi (Research and Development) Ltd. trading as Xintec based in Tralee. Photo By : Domnick Walsh

THE co-founder of a Tralee based company has been named as the  overall “Best Young Entrepreneur” for the county as Kerry’s best young entrepreneurs were announced at the County Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition on Thursday in the Ballygarry House Hotel

The overall “Best Young Entrepreneur” for the county was named as Rob Durran (age 34) who is Co-founder of the company Xi (Research and Development) Ltd. trading as Xintec based in Tralee.

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This business provides anti fraud solutions to telecom providers counteracting International Revenue Share Fraud.

The entrepreneur also won the category for the Best Established Business and an investment fund from LEO Kerry worth €15,000.

A total of €50,000 was awarded in prizes across three different categories including best Business Idea, Best Start Up Business and Best Established Business.

The other main category winners on the day were Niall Harty of Harty Nutrition Ltd. who won the Best Start Up Business category with his Origin Clean Protein Bars business.

This company produces a range of protein bars and the company has seen substantial growth over the past year with sales through the multiples such as Supervalu.

Caroline Birch (aged 28) won the Best Business Idea category with her business idea Wild Adventure Way (WAW). Wild Adventure Way will bring the adventure community together in one online portal making it easy for travelers to compare and book adventure holidays. Caroline won a prize of €7,000.

All three category winners will now be representing the County at the Mid West Regional Finals scheduled for the January 16.

Meanwhile, the category runners-up also shared an investment of €13,000 between their three businesses. They were: Nikolia O’Connor, aged 18, Ballydavid in the Best Business Idea category with his Muscle Physio Therapy product.

Shane O’Leary (28) of Cordal Goats Cheese was runner-up in the Best Start Up Category and Marie Looby (34) of Peregrine Energy was runner-up in the Best Established Business category.

Tomás Hayes, the Head of Local Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kerry said: “Kerry County Council started the search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in July and the national competition received a huge number of entries this year, with 1,500 young entrepreneurs applying nationally.  After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region.”

These sentiments were echoed by Charlie O’ Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of Kerry County Council who commended the participants on the very high standard of the applications received and the need for entrepreneurship, jobs and economic development to safeguard the future prosperity of County Kerry.

Special guests at the IBYE County Final included the Mayor of Kerry, Cllr. John Sheahan, Breda O’Dwyer of the Institute of Technology and Michael Scannell, Director of Community and Economic Development, Kerry County Council.

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