Texthelp founder named 2022 EY entrepreneur of the year
Martin McKay, founder and CEO at Texthelp has been named International and overall winner at the 2022 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at a gala awards ceremony in the Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow. This year’s the competition received a record number of entrants and this year’s finalists collectively have revenues in excess of €1 billion.
McKay founded Texthelp in 1996 to help people with communication difficulties. What started as a company focused on people with profound speech and dexterity disabilities has become a world-leading assistive technology company creating smart, inclusive software that helps people read, write, express their thoughts and share information more accurately and fluently.
Martin has led significant growth of the Antrim-based company and overseen a series of acquisitions that bring together the best language technologies from around the world. This included the acquisition of Swedish technology firm Oribi , the education technology division of Don Johnston Inc, a US-based assistive technology and Danish firm Wizkids.
Tecthelp employs 350 people and has doubled its turnover since 2020. Its goal is to advance the literacy and understanding of one billion people by 2030.
Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack co-founders of Conack Construction have been named the named 2022 EY established entrepreneur of the year.
OneProjects co-CEOs Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger shared the emerging entrepreneur of the year prize. The privately held, venture-backed medical device company based in Dublin and Munich has developed a cutting-edge cardiac imaging and analysis platform to improve the lives of millions of patients suffering from cardiac diseases globally.
For the first time an award for sustainability was presented. The winning entry was Stephen Nolan, managing director of Nutritics for it foodprint service; an easy-to-use carbon footprint scoring, display and reporting system that helps food businesses and their customers manage and measure their carbon impact.
Commenting at the event, Roger Wallace, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, said: “It’s been an absolute honour to get to know our 2022 finalists and on behalf of EY I am delighted to extend our warmest congratulations to this year’s winners, each of whom have demonstrated cutting-edge, innovative thinking and new ways of working in their respective industries, ultimately shaping how we live and work on the island of Ireland and globally.
“It’s also noteworthy that many of this year’s finalists and two of our winners are from Ireland’s indigenous technology industry, a true testament to the resilience, diversity, and continued strength in this sector. As a nation we consistently punch above our weight when it comes to entrepreneurial endeavours, and it is something we are incredibly proud to support at EY Ireland.”
A special recognition award to went to Mary Davis, CEO Special Olympics International in recognition of her work in addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance, and social isolation for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the world.