Brendan Mooney of Kainos Group plc named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2016

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Brendan Mooney of Kainos Group plc named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2016

Brendan Mooney, CEO of Kainos Group plc, was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ for 2016 at the nationally televised Awards ceremony held in Dublin last night.

Over 1,500 business leaders from across the island of Ireland and around the world were in attendance at the awards gala, alongside guest of honour An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to celebrate the achievements of the 24 finalists who collectively employ over 3,000 people and last year generated revenues in excess of half a billion Euro.

Founded in Belfast in 1987, Kainos is now the largest indigenous IT services company in Northern Ireland, employing approximately 950 people in five countries. With a market capitalisation of £235 million, it develops solutions for businesses and organisations in the public, healthcare and financial services sectors, and in the last four years alone has delivered 33% compound growth. CEO Brendan Mooney will now go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2017, where he will compete with over 60 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe.

Speaking at the awards gala in Dublin, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:

We pride ourselves on being a small but open country for doing business. These 24 finalists exemplify the very best talent that Ireland has to offer, competing on a global stage with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies. Entrepreneurship is one of the driving forces behind Ireland’s continued economic prosperity, and makes a real difference in local communities across Ireland. It can provide people with options to stay and develop real careers in their localities and counties while at the same time winning business both at home in Ireland and abroad. I want to congratulate Kainos, Green Property and NewsWhip on winning each award.”

Anne Heraty, Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Judging Panel added:

The quality of the final 24 outstanding entrepreneurs made the task of the judges extremely difficult. Whether in emerging, industry or international categories, each of the finalists demonstrated a tenacity and a passion to drive real change and find better and smarter ways to solve complex problems.After a rigorous judging process, Kainos emerged as the overall winner of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016. Brendan Mooney is an inspirational leader who has grown Kainos from 12 employees to a global business employing almost 1,000 people today. With a clear vison he has positioned the company as a leader in digital technology supporting over 150 customers globally.”

In addition to being selected as the overall winner of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ for 2016, Brendan Mooney was also named EY International Entrepreneur Of The Year. Stephen Vernon of Green Property and Director of Green REIT plc, which has a market cap of close to €1 billion, was named EY Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year, whilst Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney of Newswhip picked up the award for EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year. Their media monitoring service tracks millions of news stories every day in more than 60 countries, and boasts over 320 clients globally.

Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Leader, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland said:
“The programme becomes more and more competitive each year, and this year was no exception, with the judges facing a real challenge in selecting an overall winner. Kainos however stood out, as a truly disruptive and innovative company, which, under the leadership of Brendan over the past 15 years, has gone from strength to strength. All 24 of the finalists in this year’s programme demonstrate what can be achieved through perseverance and an unending focus on developing entrepreneurial solutions to the challenges that they see before them. On behalf of EY I would like to congratulate all of our 24 finalists, and in particular Kainos, Green Property and NewsWhip.”

The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges chaired by Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources plc. The panel also included previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (overall and category) winners Michael Carey, Mark Roden, Terry Clune, Dr. Edmond Harty, Joe Hogan, Jerry Kennelly, Brian Long, Pat McDonagh and Denis O’Brien as well as Orla Battersby from Enterprise Ireland and Jeremy Fitch from Invest Northern Ireland.

Each year EY presents a Special Award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the island of Ireland through their entrepreneurial vision, innovation and commitment to excellence. This year, the prestigious honour was awarded to astrophysicist Dr Susan McKenna-Lawlor who is Emeritus Professor at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth and the founder and director of Space Technology Ireland.

Presenting Dr McKenna-Lawlor with the Special Award last night, Kevin McLoughlin, said: “Dr McKenna-Lawlor is one of Ireland’s leading scientists, whose contribution to space exploration has inspired generations. She has authored more than 250 publications and several books, and overseen projects that have built instrumentation launched by the European Space Agency, NASA, and the Chinese, Indian and Russian Space Agencies – all thanks to her boundless ambition and insatiable thirst for knowledge. Disruptive innovation such as this is the driver of modern day entrepreneurship, therefore it is appropriate that as we look forward to the 20th year of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme, we recognise an individual such as Dr McKenna-Lawlor who is an excellent example of just what can be achieved through a willingness to continually evolve and innovate.”

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme is supported by Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, The Irish Times and Newstalk and the TV series was broadcast by UTV Ireland and UTV Northern Ireland. The 2017 programme will be open for nominations from January 2017. For further information, please visit

Article Published: 28/10/2016