2015 Press Releases

UCC alum named Best Young Entrepreneur

6 Jan 2016
James Foody won Best Start-up Idea for his company Ayda Image Mark Stedman, Photocall

A UCC graduate and student captured two of the top awards at Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur  competition in 2015.

James Foody, a UCC graduate of the School of Engineering, was named  Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur  after winning the ‘Best Start-Up Business’.  The awards were announced by Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, TD, at the national final held at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.  For capturing the top spot, James won a €50,000 investment fund for a business that he co-founded, Ayda – a female health tech company that aims to help women track their fertility levels by combining a wearable tracker device with a mobile app.  Based in Glanmire and San Francisco, Ayda plans to launch their product in mid-2016. 

Within the ‘Best New Idea’ category, UCC student, Blaine Doyle, won the top prize of €20,000 investment for GlowDX, a company that is setting out to diagnose neglected tropical diseases, like Dengue fever, in developing countries.  Blaine co-founded GlowDX with Yensi Flores Bueso, both students in the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation at UCC.  “The fact that our students can compete successfully with a science-based, entrepreneurial idea really validates everything that we are trying to do with the MSc,” said Dr Kellie Dean, Lecturer in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Coordinator of the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation.

With over 1,400 applications to Local Enterprise Offices for this year’s competition, only 24 finalists from 17 counties competed for the overall title, and nine of those made a live pitch to the judging panel in the final round. 

Details for all of the finalists can be found at http://www.ibye.ie and by searching #IBYE on social media and YouTube.  Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition was supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and Google.

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