Fri, 13 Dec 2019

DUBLIN, Ireland - Devenish CEO Richard Kennedy has taken out the overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award for 2019.

The global agri-tech Belfast-based company operates in 40 countries and has an annual turnover exceeding £250 million turnover a year.

The company recently received €118 million in funding from the European Investment Bank to assist it to increase its turnover to £350 million in the next three years.

The Devenish chief was presented with the prestigious award at a gala event ceremony in Dublin on Thursday night, attended by 1,500 people.

Mr Kennedy, aside from being declared the overall winner, also won the award for EY International Entrepreneur of the Year. He will now go on to represent Ireland at the World EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monte Carlo next year, where he will compete with more than 60 leading entrepreneurs from around the world.

Triona Mullane, the founder and CEO of customer experience platform Madme Technologies, took out the honours as the 2019 EY Emerging Entrepeneur of the Year, while Pat McDonagh, the Managing Director of Supermac's and owner of the So Hotel Group and Plaza Group has been named EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year.

The 24 finalists of Ireland's 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year were unveiled in April this year. Collectively, the finalists employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of almost €1.2bn. The finalists competed across three categories Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being named The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019.

The 24 finalists were 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.

The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists were:

Emerging Industry International
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

"2019 has been an incredibly competitive year for nominees. The judges arrived at an exceptional list of finalists. This year, our shortlist had everything from fast food to energy, with many of the entrepreneurs representing businesses that are household names. Cutting-edge technology businesses were prominent again this year, alongside a strong mix of more traditional businesses. The standard of the finalists this year was reflective of a very healthy entrepreneurial community on the island of Ireland. These entrepreneurs are the ones bravely taking risks to drive innovation and create employment in every town and village across the island, something EY has been very proud to be able to directly support over the last 22 years through EY Entrepreneur Of The Year," Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur of The Year programme said.

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.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland programme is supported by Premium Corporate Sponsor Julius Baer International, and Government sponsors Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI.

The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists inclusive of location were:

Emerging Category

  • Mark Dowds, Trov, Antrim
  • John Mullins, Amarenco Solar, Cork
  • Tom Cronin, Rye River Brewing Company, Kildare
  • Mervyn O'Callaghan and Simon Murray, Provision Vehicle Cameras, Dublin
  • Sonia Deasy, Pestle & Mortar, Kildare
  • Ian Nolan and Alex Kelly, Brightflag, Dublin
  • Triona Mullane, mAdMe Technologies, Dublin
  • James and Timothy McElroy, HouseMyDog, Dublin

Industry Category

  • Matt Ryan, Press Up Entertainment Group, Dublin
  • Pat McDonagh, Supermac's Holdings, Galway
  • Mark Whitaker, Johnson & Perrott Motor Group, Cork
  • Patrick Derry, DRT (NI) LTD, Armagh
  • Peter and Una Kearns, The Institute of Education, Dublin
  • Ashley McCulla, McCulla (Ireland) Ltd., Antrim
  • Laurence O'Kane, IMED Healthcare, Derry
  • Donnacha Hurley, Motor Mania Limited., Offaly

International Category

  • Richard Kennedy, Devenish, Antrim
  • Andrew Day, Keywords Studios, Dublin
  • Lily Holmes, PB Machine Tech, Carlow
  • Paul McKenna, mac-group, Dublin
  • Philip Noone, Aalto Bio, Dublin
  • Shane Evans, Scrapinghub, Cork
  • Brian Leslie, Seaquest Systems, Donegal
  • Lulu O'Sullivan, GiftsDirect.com/TheIrishStore.com, Dublin

About EY Entrepreneur of the Year

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme is a global recognition programme run in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Currently in its 22nd year, the programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland's high-growth entrepreneurs and is considered one of the strongest programmes globally.

Over a 10-month period, the 24 selected finalists engaged in a strategic programme of activities geared towards accelerating their professional growth and development. This year's programme included the CEO Retreat to Hong Kong in May, executive education, tailored business consultations, networking events and extensive media profiling.

More Ireland News

Access More

Sign up for Ireland News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!