This is the second year in a row that a Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown based entrepreneur won the National accolade with Ciara Clancy, of Beats Medical winning in 2017.
The programme, which is run by the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) nationwide and supported by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, attracted over 1,400 applicants in 2018 with an investment fund of €2million.
Conor a former scrum half with 97 caps for Connaught set up Glofox, a gym management software system, in 2014 after injury cut short his rugby career. The business, which allows both gym members and gym owners to access usage, payment and service information, now has over 1,000 customers spread across 23 countries. O’Loughlin is in the process of setting up a base out of New York in 2018 with the United States the company’s main focus.
Conor O’Loughlin, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2018, said, this is fantastic and such a huge shock considering the calibre of business and entrepreneurs here today. I can’t quite believe it looking around at the competition but I have to thank my Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Enterprise Ireland who have been a huge help to me right from the start and without whom I wouldn’t be standing here today.
An Cathaoirleach, Councillor Tom Murphy said "Congratulations to Conor O'Loughlin and his Company Glofox on winning Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur Competition. The fact that this is the second year that Dún Laoghaire Rathdown have won this national title, with Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical taking the award in 2017 shows the ecosystem led by the Local Enterprise Office is flourishing in the County".
Speaking on the win, Owen Laverty, Head of Enterprise, LEO DLR said “To ever have a winner in this prestigious competition is quite a feat, to have the Best Overall winner and the Best Established Business twice in a row in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is a significant achievement and reflects the dynamic start up community and the level of support available in the region. We are delighted for Conor and his team who worked very hard and thoroughly deserve this accolade”.
The other IBYE National Final category winners were Brendan Boland of Loci Orthopaedics representing Local Enterprise Office Galway who won Best Business Idea and Alan Hickey of WeBringg representing Local Enterprise Office Fingal who won Best Start-Up Business.