Win a share of €150,000 fund available to Cork’s Best Young Entrepreneurs

Pictured at the 2016 IBYE Cork Final last December were Cork's 'Best Young Entrepreneurs' Fiona Edwards Murphy of Apis Protect (Cork North & West), Michael Sheehan of Milis Bio (Cork City) and Vincent Forde of Gasgon Medical (South Cork). Applications for this year's competition close on Friday, September 29th. For more see (Pic: Emma Jervis Photography)

If you are aged from 18 to 35 and have an existing business or business idea with real commercial potential, then the IBYE 2018 competition is for you.

The search is on to find Cork’s best and brightest young business people, with €150,000 up for grabs through the three Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) in Cork as part of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) national competition.

LEO Cork City, LEO South Cork, and LEO Cork North and West are inviting applications in three different categories – ‘Best Business Idea’, ‘Best Start-Up Business’ and ‘Best Established Business’, ahead of the closing date of Friday, September 29th. The competition is free to enter and has a simple online application form available at

Now in its fourth year, the IBYE competition in Cork has unearthed a wealth of young entrepreneurs, who their respective LEOs work with to nurture and support, and the €50,000 investment fund is just one of the ways in which the LEOs help to encourage and help young people to realise their dream of owning and developing their own business.

Through the competition, each LEO in Cork will award up to six investments to three category winners and three runners-up for their region. The local winners in the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ and ‘Best Established Business’ categories will receive investments of €15,000 each, with the runner-up in each receiving €5,000. The ‘Best Business Idea’ winner will receive an investment of €7,000 and the runner-up will receive €3,000 investment.

A new addition to this year’s competition will see ALL APPLICANTS INVITED TO ‘CORK IBYE ENTERPRISE DAY’ on October 11th, where they will meet with their LEO, receive full information on the competition, refine their value proposition, participate in a pitching masterclass, and network with other applicants. Following the Enterprise Day, applicants must submit a video and can also make improvements to their application form up until October 20th.

Applicants will then be whittled down to 15 finalists from each LEO, who will participate in an intensive Business Boot Camp in Cork on November 17th and 18th. Here participants will receive mentoring and supports from experts to help them to fine tune their business further. The next phase of the competition will see the selection of three winners per LEO at the Cork county final in December. These county winners will progress to regional finals early next year, and hopefully advance to the national IBYE finals in March 2018.

Kevin Curran, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West said: “Taking part in IBYE will help Cork’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at. The addition of ‘Cork IBYE Enterprise Day’ this October means that even more young entrepreneurs will benefit from IBYE than ever before; and so I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35, to apply online or talk to their LEO about IBYE and the valuable supports available throughout the various stages of the competition. It could be the first step on the way to commercialise your business idea or expand your existing business.”

Last year’s IBYE Cork winners were Michael Sheehan, Milis Bio; Paul Moore, Rebel Chilli; and Darren Hickey, D&D Detailing from LEO Cork City; Vincent Forde, Gasgon Medical; Mark Moriarty, Awesound; and Richard Barrett, Pundit Arena from LEO South Cork; and Fiona Edwards Murphy, Apis Protect; Hayley Milthorpe, The Cultured Food Company; and Nuala Carey, Glengarriff Pharmacy from LEO Cork North & West.

If you have any questions call LEO Cork North & West on (022) 43235 or apply online at by Friday, September 29th. You can follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at IBYE Cork.