A Donegal-based businessman has reached the final of the prestigious ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Killybegs-based Brian Leslie of Seaquest Systems is among the 24 finalists which have just been announced.
He follows in the footsteps of well-known Donegal-based business person Ramona Nicholas, Cara Pharmacy, who was a finalist in 2017.
Collectively, the finalists employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of almost €1.2bn.
The finalists will compete across three categories – Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being named The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019.
The 24 finalists have been shortlisted from more than 120 nominations by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources Plc, and winner of the 2006 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ award.
Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources Plc, and Chair of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ judging panel commented: “As with every year, the standard of nominees has been incredibly strong. The judging panel always has a very tough job trying to reach a shortlist of 24 finalists but it is fantastic to see a wide range of different industries represented.
‘I am proud to be able to play a part in recognising the brave entrepreneurs who are creating employment across the island. It’s wonderful to see so many thriving companies driven by entrepreneurs who are boldly pushing themselves and the teams to the forefront of their industries.
‘This year’s finalists are at the start of what will be a very exciting journey, not just this year but as they become part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community. I’d like to wish them the very best at the beginning of an unforgettable journey through the programme and beyond.’’
The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ finalists are:
Sonia Deasy, Pestle & Mortar
Pat McDonagh, Supermac’s Holdings
Andrew Day, Keywords Studios
James and Timothy McElroy, HouseMyDog
Matt Ryan, Press Up Entertainment Group
Richard Kennedy, Devenish
Tom Cronin, Rye River Brewing Company
Peter and Una Kearns, The Institute of Education
Paul McKenna, mac-group
Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray, Provision Vehicle Cameras
Donnacha Hurley, Motor Mania Limited
Lily Holmes, PB Machine Tech
Ian Nolan and Alex Kelly, Brightflag
Mark Whitaker, Johnson & Perrott Motor Group
Philip Noone, Aalto Bio
Triona Mullane, mAdme Technologies
Ashley McCulla, McCulla (Ireland) Ltd.
Brian Leslie, Seaquest Systems
John Mullins, Amarenco Solar
Laurence O’Kane, IMED Healthcare
Lulu O’Sullivan, GiftsDirect.com/TheIrishStore.com
Mark Dowds, Trov
Patrick Derry, DRT (NI) LTD
Shane Evans, Scrapinghub
Now in its 22nd year, the programme has established itself as a world-class development programme that supports, promotes, and connects a prodigious community of entrepreneurs, championing entrepreneurship throughout the island of Ireland and around the world.
Since its inception, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community has grown to a network of more than 500 alumni who harness each other’s wealth of experience, with 77% now doing business with one another.
This year’s finalists will join more than 60 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ alumni for a week of executive education and exclusive corporate insights in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau in May. The CEO Retreat is the island’s largest unofficial trade mission, specifically focused on fostering entrepreneurship. The retreat will focus on developing the entrepreneurs, and facilitating an environment for networking and problem-solving.