In­no­va­tors in run­ning for top prize

Six NI fi­nal­ists are shortlisted for the EY En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Awards, which takes place in Dublin on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 26. Mar­garet Can­ning looks at four peo­ple hop­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps of 2016 win­ner, NI man Bren­dan Mooney of Kainos plc

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Analysis & Company Report -

Darragh Cullen

Co Ty­rone en­gi­neer Darragh Cullen is the founder of Edge In­no­vate. The com­pany has cus­tomers around the world, but Mr Cullen says he re­mains wed­ded to his roots in the vil­lage of Eden­dork. He says he is com­mit­ted to the jour­ney of con­stant im­prove­ment to busi­ness and self, with in­no­va­tion at the cen­tre of both.

Edge In­no­vate de­signs, man­u­fac­tures and dis­trib­utes prod­ucts to help re­cy­cle waste and con­vey and stack ma­te­ri­als.

Its port­fo­lio is split into re­cy­cling equip­ment, which helps sep­a­rate waste and makes it eas­ier for prod­ucts to be reused, and ma­te­ri­als han­dling. The ma­te­ri­als han­dling equip­ment is used for the trans­port and stock­pil­ing of ma­te­ri­als such as soil, stone, sand and coal.

Since it was founded in 2009, the com­pany has grown sig­nif­i­cantly. Its most re­cent ac­counts record pre-tax profits of £1.9m and em­ploys 140 peo­ple.

Gary and An­drew Ir­win

Broth­ers Gary ( top) and An­drew ( be­low) are the third gen­er­a­tion at the helm of Bedeck, which spe­cialises in bed­li­nen. It now has a port­fo­lio of 14 bed and bath brands which have evolved from a busi­ness mak­ing hand­ker­chiefs. The com­pany de­signs, sources and sells branded bed­li­nen and tow­els, both through whole­sale and re­tail. Bedeck has en­joyed steady growth for nearly 30 years and now has turnover of around £40m. It em­ploys over 270 peo­ple in the UK and Ire­land, with 90 based at a head of­fice and ware­house in Magher­alin. Bedeck was founded by Alexan­der Ir­win in 1951 and Gary and An­drew are his grand­sons. The busi­ness sup­plies branded prod­uct only and has moved man­u­fac­tur­ing over­seas. Its re­tail arm in­cludes stores in Dun­gan­non and Belfast, as well as 60 con­ces­sions and 20 out­let stores.

Next week, we pre­view the re­main­ing three NI fi­nal­ists in the all-is­land EY En­tre­pre­neur of the Year

Bren­dan Mon­aghan

Queen’s Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate Bren­dan Mon­aghan founded soft­ware firm Neueda in 2006 af­ter a ca­reer rang­ing from man­u­fac­turer Pow­er­screen to BIC Sys­tems and Kainos plc.

His firm pro­vides dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to in­ter­na­tional lead­ers in gov­ern­ment, util­i­ties and fi­nance. Clients in­clude Bloomberg, Citi Bank and ESB.

The firm has grown by over 30% year-on-year since 2012, and now em­ploys 220 busi­ness ex­perts, data an­a­lysts and IT spe­cial­ists in Belfast and Lon­don.

It’s aim­ing for rev­enues of £100m. Neueda was also ranked in the Great Place to Work Awards 2017.

In 2016, it was listed for the Deloitte Tech­nol­ogy Fast 50 Awards in recog­ni­tion of its rapid growth, picked up a Deloitte Best Man­aged Com­pany award and was nom­i­nated in three cat­e­gories in the UK IT In­dus­try Awards. In its lat­est re­sults, the com­pany an­nounced a 50% jump in sales to £10.6m.

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