Trio of Limerick entrepreneurs in top countdown for national competition

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

 Nominee: Vicki O’Toole

Nominee: Vicki O’Toole

THREE Limerick entrepreneurs have been named as finalists in a prestigious national competition.

Dr Paddy Finn, Electricity Exchange, PJ Flanagan of H&MV Engineering and Vicki O’Toole, of JJ O’Toole Ltd are in the final 24 of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.

The trio will join more than 70 previous entrepreneurs of the year for a week of executive education and corporate insights in the British cities of Oxford and London this May.

Dr Finn, whose company Electricity Exchange will move into new premises in the National Technology Park shortly, said: “This is the ultimate acknowledgement of the achievements of our incredible team who push the boundaries everyday and still make our growing company an exceptionally happy and motivating place to work.”

Electricity Exchange exists to provide demand side management, power system analytics and smart grid technologies to commercial energy users.

Raheen firm JJ O’Toole provides packaging solutions, while  H&MV Engineering provides high voltage transmission and distribution systems.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was present at its premises in the Eastlink Business Park as the firm announced new jobs back in January.

The Limerick firms, plus the 21 other finalists employ more than 2,700 people and generate annual revenues of €150m.

The finalists will compete across three categories - Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being chosen as The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018.

They have been shortlisted from over 110 nominations received from across the island of Ireland by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by Anne Heraty, the chief executive of CPL Resources Plc, and winner of the 2006 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award.

She said: “Every year the calibre of nominees intensifies, and this year has been no exception.

“While it is never an easy task narrowing the selection down to 24 finalists, we are delighted to see the diverse range of industries year on year.

“We as judges take enormous pride in supporting the backbone of the Irish economy by highlighting Ireland’s most innovative, brave, and ambitious entrepreneurs.

“Without doubt the greatest strength of the community is the incredible opportunity that we have to learn from each other’s experiences. I am delighted to welcome this year’s 24 finalists into the EY Entrepreneur of The Year community and wish them the very best at the beginning of an unforgettable journey through the programme and beyond.’’