Mark Moriarty, age 27, of Awesound, Rochestown, (IBYE Regional Winner, Best Start-Up Business Category) supported by LEO Cork South; Fiona Edwards Murphy, age 25, Apis Protect, Kanturk (IBYE Regional winner in the Best Business Idea Category), supported by LEO Cork North & West and Richard Barrett, age 27, of Pundit Arena, Douglas  (IBYE Regional winner in the Best Established Business Category), supported by LEO Cork South, pictured at the regional final of the 2016 ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ competition in Crew’s Restaurant, Dungarvan, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices. (Pic: Joe Keogh)

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork North & West has confirmed that Fiona Edwards Murphy, Apis Protect from Kanturk, has clinched a place in the national final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition in Dublin this March.

The 25 -year-old is competing in the Best New Idea and is one of three young entrepreneurs who will represent the Cork and Waterford region. The local entrepreneur now has the opportunity, along with 23 other national finalists, to become Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur and share in a €100,000 winners’ investment fund.

The North Cork finalist business Apis Protect, helps bee-keepers to prevent losses and increase the productivity of their hives through the use of unique in hive sensors and data processing technology.

The regional winners across three categories who will go forward to the national final were selected at the IBYE Regional Final in Dungarvan on Thursday last, 19th January. The two other national finalists who were selected by the judging panel are Mark Moriarty, Awesound, from Leo Cork South in the Best Start Up Business Category and Richard Barrett, Pundit Arena, from LEO Cork South in the Best Established Business.

Judging takes place in early March and each finalist will have the opportunity to pitch their business plan to the judging panel. They will be assessed on criteria such as the level of innovation in their business, the potential for future job creation and their leadership skills.

Aimed at 18 to 35-year-olds, the IBYE initiative is run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide, and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. The investment awards will be used by the young entrepreneurs to help fund business start-ups, create new jobs locally and help develop new products for international markets.

Competition details and results are available from and information around the supports available to young entrepreneurs through the Local Enterprise Offices is available from