6 December 2015
By Tom O’Sullivan
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 / Best Start Up National Winner:
Investment Prize: €50,000 (in addition to €20,000 for winning local LEO competition)
Winner: James Foody, co-founder of Ayda, supported by Local Enterprise Office South Cork
24-year-old James Foody from Cork has been named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, winning a €50,000 investment fund for his business through the Local Enterprise Offices. The Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton T.D. made the announcement in front of 360 guests at the IBYE national final, held at Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin at lunch-time today
James Foody, whose business is based in Glanmire* and San Francisco, co-founded Ayda (www.Ayda.co), a Female Health Tech company in 2015 after finishing his Masters in Biomedical Engineering Research. The company’s mobile phone app is being designed to help women track fertility levels and a wearable fertility tracker solution is also being developed, for launch mid-2016.
[*1] Ayda’s website uses the domain for Columbia (.co). There is also a lack of physical contact details on the “contact” page which inhibits its credibility. When joining the email list an address of “Ayda Technologies LTD, 1040 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, Ca 94107” is given.
The Health Tech entrepreneur, who is supported by Local Enterprise Office South Cork, also took the ‘Best Start Up’ award at the competition, which attracted 1,400 competitors when it was launched by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton earlier this year.
Supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, the nationwide competition is organised through the Local Enterprise Offices and forms part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 with an overall investment fund of €2 million awarded to county winners and national winners.
Speaking at the National Final, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D said: “On behalf of the Government, I’d like to congratulate James Foody from Ayda on being named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015. But more importantly, I’d like to congratulate the 1,400 young people who entered this competition through the Local Enterprise Offices and those that made it through to the local, regional or national finals. I’ve been personally inspired by the energy, commitment and ambition of these young business-people. By promoting entrepreneurship as a career choice, we can ensure that we start more businesses and ultimately create more jobs. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-up businesses in their first five years. We are relying on these young entrepreneurs to start-up the businesses that will create the jobs of tomorrow, and the level of ambition and innovation on show in this competition provides great hope for the future. I am determined to ensure that Government supports these amazing young entrepreneurs in every way possible on their journey.”
Local Enterprise Offices Comment
Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices congratulated the winning young entrepreneurs, saying: “We are all extremely proud of what this year’s winners and finalists have achieved. By taking part in the IBYE initiative, 450 young entrepreneurs have benefitted from mentoring, training, networking or financial assistance, which will bring practical benefits for their businesses and will increase their chances of start-up success. For anyone else who’s thinking of starting a business or planning to expand in 2016, we’re encouraging them to access the same enterprise supports through the network of Local Enterprise Offices. ”
Where to find out more
Details for all the finalists are available at www.ibye.ie and by searching #ibye on social media and YouTube. The National Final for the IBYE competition was supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and Google.