02 Jul 2022

Winners of the inaugural IDEAS Kilkenny competition for innovative start-ups revealed


Fiona Deegan, Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny; Cait Mackey Maher, Yellow Deer Designs, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Fidelis Doherty, Kilkenny County Council and Sean McKeown, KCC

The final of the inaugural IDEAS Kilkenny competition, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Office was held in Langton House Hotel on Tuesday, May 31.

This initiative has launched back in March 2022 during Local Enterprise Week and the competition attracted entrepreneurs from right across the county with an array of tech related business ideas. The competition involved a series of business workshops and one-to-one mentoring culminating to the finale, whereby finalists pitched towards an investment fund worth €10,000 (€6,000 in the Start-up Category and €4,000 in the Pre-Start Category). 

Following a series of individual pitches on Tuesday, May 31 to the judging panel which comprised of Rosemary Ward, South East Business Innovation Centre, Padraig Briody, Padraig Briody and Sons, John Duggan , Loanitt Ltd and Aileen McGrath, Local Enterprise Office; the winners were announced. In the Pre Start-Up Category, Richie Walsh t/a Maximo Ltd was announced the overall winner.

Richie is currently in the process of developing a digital fintech platform which helps people easily contribute to a pension. In the Start-up category, Cait Mackey Maher founder of Yellow Deer Design a greeting card, print and design business was announced the winner. Cait is expanding her business and developing a subscription-based model for her bespoke, personalised greeting cards. 

“This overall aim of this competition was to encourage and support people starting out on their entrepreneurial journey," said Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Fidelis Doherty at the awards ceremony of the IDEAS Kilkenny competition.

“We hope you have enjoyed the experience and have learned a lot through participation in IDEAS Kilkenny Competition in terms of refining the business proposition and developing an investor ready pitch which helped to prepare for future funding."

Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny said: “Whilst the investment fund is a very important element of the competition, other business supports such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of this competition. Our finalists have benefitted enormously through their participation and have been supported in progressing their business proposals to the next level."

For more information about supports from the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny, visit

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