Waterford News

IBYE 130

Daniel Connolly, Abby Wood and Conor Walsh named as Waterford’s best young entrepreneurs

As part of a nationwide search launched by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Pat Breen to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs (IBYE) for 2019, the winners and runners-up were announced at an awards ceremony in Dooley’s Hotel, hosted by Local Enterprise Office Waterford on Friday, April 26th.

Chosen from 18 local finalists the winners and runners-up share a €50,000 investment fund and will go on to represent Waterford at the Regional Finals in June.

MC for the evening’s proceedings was WLRfm’s Damien Tiernan.

The ‘Best New Idea’ category, with a €7,000 investment fund, was won by WIT student Daniel Connolly, founder of Defynd. Defynd is an online platform which will allow students to search words and terms and receive a list of academic definitions from published literature. The runner-up award and €3,000 investment fund went to Bryan Hurley of Needy Insights.

Abby Wood was the winner of the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ category and a €15,000 investment fund. Abby’s business, The Content Lab, works with digital agencies to create innovative content strategies. Ivan Kiersey of Freezin’ Friesian was runner-up and received a €5,000 investment fund.

Meanwhile, the title of ‘Best Established Business’, with an investment fund of €15,000, went to Conor Walsh of Encon. For over ten years in the retrofit market, Encon has been delivering retrofit homes, making them energy efficient and affordable to run. The runner-up in this category, scooping a €5,000 investment fund was Stephen Lynch of Momentum Events.

Conor was also awarded the title of Waterford’s ‘Best Young Entrepreneur’.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Waterford said, “Waterford boasts a wealth of young, innovative entrepreneurs. The Waterford IBYE competition highlighted the drive these finalists have, and they are destined to make a huge positive impact in their respective industries.”

“IBYE is about discovering local potential and nurturing that talent through financial supports, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. What stood out for LEO Waterford throughout the whole process, was the determination and unyielding belief that these young entrepreneurs have in themselves and their businesses. It’s heartening to see, as these are the individuals who will contribute significantly to the local economy.”

In the lead up to the county final, each finalist received targeted business supports through Local Enterprise Office Waterford. They attended an intensive Business Boot Camp, receiving mentoring and support on their business plans, pitch training as well as getting the opportunity to connect with other young entrepreneurs from the city and country.

IBYE, now in its fifth year, is a nationwide youth enterprise initiative to help 18-to-35 year olds with an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business. In 2019, 1,644 young entrepreneurs entered IBYE, which is an initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities.

The county winners from Waterford will now progress to the regional finals. In all, 24 national finalists will be selected at regional finals across the country to compete for the overall title of “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”

At the IBYE national final on Sunday 15th September, which takes place at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin, a €100,000 investment fund will be awarded to winners.

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through www.localenterprise.ie and www.ibye.ie .

Pieta House Darkness Into Light

This May, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will get together to walk from the darkness of night into the light of morning to help us in the global fight against suicide and self-harm.   

Symbolically the walk represents the therapeutic counselling journey. It sparks conversation about the importance of mental health and wellbeing in all our lives. The entry fees raised around the world allow Pieta House and our international charity partners to continue to deliver our vital services.

Join us on May 11. Let’s walk together for a brighter future.

For 2019 we’ve streamlined registration, created a suite of registration how-to videos, and participants have the option of a wearing a complimentary 2019 DIL t-shirt or re-wearing tee’s from other years they may have tucked away in the wardrobe.

Every participant and donation makes a huge difference to Pieta House services.

€13 = Keeps the lights on for a day at one of our 15 centres.

€31 = Three calls into our 24/7 nationwide helpline.

€53 = An initial assessment to set a person in crisis on the road to recovery.

€102 = The first session of a dedicated therapy programme.

€251 = Starts off our Resilience Academy programme for a class of students.

€500 = A Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer supporting a family in their home.

Register online today for Darkness Into Light 11 May 2019 www.darknessintolight.ie

WIT SciFestPost primary students from schools across the south east and beyond will be showing off their scientific knowledge at the regional SciFest STEM fair which will be taking place at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) on Wednesday, 1st May 2019.

Scifest is a regional science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) competition for secondary schools that takes place across Ireland every year. Scifest is an all-inclusive, all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. Scifest@WIT is one of the many initiatives run by Calmast, WIT's STEM Outreach centre.

About 90 projects have been entered with more than 200 participants coming from 20 different post-primary schools in counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wicklow and Cork have entered the competition.

There are 26 projects from County Waterford: Ard Scoil na Mara Tramore (6), C.B.S. Mount Sion Waterford (10), Gael Colaiste Waterford (5), Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School Waterford (1), Scoil na mBraithre Dungarvan (3), St Augustine’s College Dungarvan (1). An example of what Waterford has to offer includes:

  • Cervical Check and the HPV Vaccine - Information, Opinion and Fake News
  • Does the blue light emitted from mobile phones have harmful effects?
  • Is out of date make-up harmful?
  • Pollinator alternative
  • Virtual Reality Technology and its Impact on Future Learning
  • Coffee Addiction
  • How long does UV light take to react under different kinds of sunscreen

Martin ShanahanA firm favourite on the culinary calendar, the West Waterford Festival of Food takes place from Friday, April 26th to Sunday, April 28th.

With an impressive line up of workshops, markets and demos, Local Enterprise Office Waterford in its continuing support of food producers, is delighted to sponsor two exciting events throughout the weekend.

On Friday, April 26th, renowned seafood chef and owner of the award-winning Fishy Fishy Restaurant & Cafe in Kinsale, Martin Shanahan, will prepare lunch using the finest fresh local seafood, showcasing the bounty of the area.

On Sunday, from 11am to 4pm Food the Waterford Way will give visitors to the festival the chance to not only meet with a whole host of food producers, but to chat with them about their amazing food experiences. There will be a series of free food demonstrations as producers and restaurateurs showcase the best of local produce.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Waterford emphasised the importance of supporting local food producers. “Food producers are the backbone of our community and it is crucial that we continue to back them.”

“Waterford has a wealth of daring and passionate people working day in, day out to keep the spotlight on good quality, fresh, and tasty food. From beer brewers and blaa bakers to coffee roasters and artisan producers, events such as the West Waterford Festival of Food are a great platform to showcase their wares to the region and further afield.”

“In supporting these two great events we are delighted to lend our support the local producers who have put Waterford on the national and international food map.”

Local Enterprise Office Waterford provides access to a full range of business supports for start-up and established businesses within the food industry and programmes such as the Enterprising Food series and the Food Academy are an integral part of LEO’s business support services.

If your food business in pre-start, start-up or established business phase and would like to find out more about what business support services are available from LEO Waterford visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

French Ambassador to Ireland at WIT

The French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Stéphane Crouzat joined Councillor John O’Leary, Deputy Mayor of Waterford, President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly along with local teachers of French, restaurateurs and many food producers from the region for a celebration of the very best in French and Irish cuisine at WIT on 10 April 2019.

Guests enjoyed a meal which showcased locally produced artisan food and French wines prepared and served by 2nd year students form the Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts under the direction of Chef and programme leader, Edward Hayden and lecturer Nuala Gordon. The celebration marked the annual ‘Good France/Goût de France’ day supported by French Chef Alain Ducasse and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, ‘Good France’ aims to celebrate the diversity of world gastronomy and its links with French cuisine.

Speaking after the ‘Good France’ event, Ambassador Crouzat commented that ‘Waterford and France share a unique tradition as illustrated by the history of the Waterford Blaa, a notable Irish bread that is said to have been introduced by the Huguenots in the 17th century. I was delighted to see Waterford Institute of Technology, a keen supporter of the Good France initiative over the years and last year’s winner of the Dairy Chef competition, participating again this year in this celebration of Franco-Irish gastronomy. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the work of Irish and international WIT students on such diverse aspects of culinary arts including food sustainability and oenology. I was also impressed to see how the institute engages with the local community from restaurants to schools showcasing, for example, outstanding local talents in dance and singing’.

WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly added, 'our links with France go back many years and we are honoured to welcome H.E. Ambassador Stéphane Crouzat to WIT to celebrate that connection. We are particularly delighted to host this evening's 'Goût de France/Good France’ event in association with the French Embassy as our links with France are extremely important to us. We have inter-university collaborations with many of France’s leading universities, a joint Masters programme in Business with Brest Business School, an Erasmus+ exchange network with over 25 French partner institutions and several research partnerships in different parts of France’.

Commenting on WITs links with France in the area of culinary arts, Head of School of Humanities, Dr Suzanne Denieffe remarked that ‘we are particularly pleased to further develop our cooperation with the French Embassy through the 'Goût de France’ event.' Referring in particular to the growing number of international opportunities available for students on the BA (Hons) Culinary Arts programme, Dr Denieffe added that ‘our students in the area of Culinary Arts are very fortunate to have excellent opportunities for work placement and study all over the world as an integral part of their programme. Our students can also spend time studying and on work placement in France and we are delighted to cooperate with some of France’s leading institutions in the areas of Culinary Arts and Hospitality including the University of Angers and the world renowned Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon’.

WIT’s increased cooperation with France was also highlighted by Ray Cullen, Head of Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality, who referred to the Institute’s collaboration with the French Embassy to organise the National Dairy Chef competition, an exciting initiative with the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the French Dairy Council (Cniel). 'The competition brings together culinary students from the leading colleges in France and Ireland to work together to champion their respective institutions by creating a three-course menu celebrating Irish and/or French dairy produce. We are especially proud that WIT student, Hope Cuddihy (4th year BA (Hons) Culinary Arts) paired with a student from the University of Cergy-Pontoise was runner-up in this year’s event which took place in Paris last week’.

RIKON are hosting a 1/2 Day Business Facilitated Workshop in conjunction with Waterford Chamber on Thursday, 25th of April in Arclabs, WIT Carriganore Campus. This interactive workshop will be of interest to any Waterford business looking to grow and improve their company in 2019.

The workshop will be facilitated by dedicated strategists and market specialists from RIKON who will work with the attendees on various business model elements throughout the day. The workshop is free to attend but places are limited.
For more information and booking, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The target attendee is any company who is interested in the growth of their business and would like to potentially review the business model of their company. It is also of interest to anyone who would like to learn more about RIKON Services and funding opportunities for their business. The workshop will focus on the potential growth opportunities for the companies in relation to their products / services / overall business.

Agenda for RIKON Open Day:

8:45am – 9:15am
Company Registration

9:15am – 9:30am
Opening of Event with Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber
Welcome and Overview of Workshop with Dr Patrick Lynch, Director of RIKON

9:30am – 10:45am
Business Model Canvas Evaluation and Facilitation with Dr Patrick Lynch; Director of RIKON and Lorna Bailey; Business Strategist

10:45am – 11:10am
Tea / Coffee / Scones Break

11:10am – 12:40pm
Customer Experience Mapping and Facilitation with Danielle Whelan; Business Development and Marketing Coordinator and Rory McCall; Business Strategist

12:45pm – 1:15pm
Innovation Voucher Funding Writing for SME’s – Tips and Tricks with Danielle Whelan and Vladislavs Samsinovs; Marketing Coordinator

1:15pm – 1:30pm
Close of Event with RIKON and Waterford Chamber

Closing date for applications is Thursday 30th May 2019. No applications will be accepted after this date.

The Community Enhancement Programme will fund projects that seek to enhance facilities and communities in disadvantaged areas. This Programme will offer not-forprofit groups access to capital funding in order to kick-start, advance or complete their projects. The Programme seeks to address some of the difficulties these groups face in terms of accessing small scale levels of funding to match their own fundraising efforts.

How to apply

All applicants must complete the application form which can be downloaded from the Waterford Council’s website www.waterfordcouncil.ie. Alternatively you can collect an application form at Waterford City & County Council Customer Service points at Bailey’s New Street or at the Civic Offices, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan.

Once completed please submit your application by post to:
Colette O’ Brien
Community Enhancement Programme,
Waterford City & County Council,
Baileys New Street,

DSC 8001

In 2014, the then Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD officially opened the new Local Enterprise Office Waterford on The Mall.

The Minister stated that the Local Enterprise Office “will deliver more services and better services to the start-ups and small businesses across the county that we rely on to create the jobs we need, with more staff and more funding”, and five years on the Waterford Local Enterprise continues to support and help businesses grow throughout the city and county.

Since 2014, 642 new jobs have been created by LEO supported companies and LEO Waterford has provided almost €3 million worth of financial assistance to 164 companies.

The enhanced range of business support services introduced in 2014 has been well received and LEO Waterford continues to provide investment and resources and develop programmes for start-up and established businesses.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford said the demand for services has grown significantly and this is a reflection of the resilient entrepreneurial spirit in Waterford. “The uptake on participation in training programmes and mentoring has increased year on year since 2014. We’ve seen the number of participants on training programmes increase by almost 200%, while 95% more clients are availing of mentoring services since 2014.”

“Supports such as business training, grant assistance, and enterprise education have a positive impact on start-ups and small businesses. By providing highly practical services and resources to make the entrepreneurial journey a little less fraught, LEO Waterford is in the business of helping start-ups to get off the ground.”

One such local company to avail of LEO support back in 2014 is EveryEvent, an award-winning event production company, that lends creativity and the wow-factor to festivals and events throughout the country.

John Grubb, Director of EveryEvent said that the supports from Waterford LEO, particularly at the start of their journey was a major boost to the company. “Back in 2014, EveryEvent was just a concept and it was the input and assistance from Waterford LEO that helped us realise its true potential.”

“For a young company like ours to have not just financial assistance, but a wide range of business support services available to us, was a huge vote of confidence in our business and gave us the impetus to grow.”

National initiatives launched in 2014 which continue to grow each year include Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, Local Enterprise Week, the National Enterprise Awards and Women’s Enterprise Day.

Richie Walsh added, “These flagship events give us the opportunity to engage with those who are thinking of starting a business, in start-up phase or already established in business and offer any assistance we can to help them grow and “make it happen.”

If your business in pre-start, start-up or established business phase and would like to find out more about what business support services are available from LEO Waterford visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

The forthcoming Munster Maths and Science Family Fair 2019 will be held in Mallow on October 13th later this year. The annual event, first held in 2010, attracts approximately 4,500 primary and secondary school kids and parents/guardians from across Munster as visitors to each event.

This science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) event features exhibitors from Industry that highlight the science and innovation that underpin their technologies and products. The focus of the annual fair is to showcase the fun side of science and to show how it is used in the things that we do, use and see every day. Exhibits feature a wide range of interactive demonstrations on innovative manufacturing, robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, IoT, and sustainable energy technologies and more. In addition, educational institutions highlight their research in key sectors and a number of primary and secondary schools exhibit STEM projects undertaken by their students.   

Exhibitors to date for the 2019 event include Eli Lilly, Kostal Ireland, Johnson & Johnson, Blizzard Entertainment, Dairygold, Horner APG Europe, Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology. While ddemonstrating that science can be both entertaining and interesting, exhibitors also seek to encourage young people to embrace the subjects which can be the pathways to stimulating career opportunities.

Exhibiting companies demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility and leadership in STEM related activities. Members of the Waterford Chamber of Commerce that would like to profile the science and innovation behind their success and engage with an interested and curious audience would be welcome at the event.

For more information, contact Freddie at 087 9805951 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Munster Maths and Science Fair Team

Address: Floor 3, Mallow Parish Centre Building, 27-28 Bank Place, Mallow, Co. Cork.

Phone: 085 8554555

Website: www.mallow.ie

Facebook: @MallowDevelopmentPartnership

Twitter: @MallowDevtPship

Student Sport Ireland 1

John Windle, WIT Novus Senior Manager, has been unanimously ratified onto the Student Sport Ireland Board of Directors. John is from Waterford City.

Student Sport Ireland is the governing body of third level sport in Ireland the organisation works to enhance student health and well-being through increasing participation in sport and physical activity in third level colleges in Ireland. John will take up the role of National Children’s Officer an imperative element within Student Sport Ireland.

Speaking following his appointment John outlined how he was “delighted to represent WIT on the board and I look forward to using it as platform to promote and develop student sport not only in WIT but across all third levels institutes”.

John has extensive knowledge in child protection from his experiences in coaching swimming and athletics as well as being responsible for large group activities for children. John has completed his Safeguarding Level 1 and 3 as well as his TULSA Children’s First E-Learning Programme course.

As a Senior Manager within WIT Novus, John is responsible for the management of several divisions within the company including the WIT Arena Manager, WIT Head of WIT Vikings Sport and Manager of WIT International Summer Business. These roles along with John’s 16 years’ experience working in the Fitness and Sports Industry, has provided him with a wide range of knowledge in Finance, Governance, Human Relations and Health and Safety and Child Protection.


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