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Judges

To ensure a rigorous judging process, we select a number of experienced leaders and experts from a range of Irish business sectors to make up our independent judging panel.

Bobby Kerr

Entrepreneur, broadcaster, and former ‘dragon’

Bobby is an experienced entrepreneur and former co-owner and Chairman/CEO of Insomnia Coffee Company, Ireland’s largest independent coffee chain,

Bobby is currently a presenter on “Down to Business” the popular Newstalk radio business show on Saturdays. He also co-hosts an SME slot called #bobbymeansbiz on The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk.

Bobby’s business interests are in a variety of sectors including food and hospitality, technology, hardware and exhibition.

Bobby was was one of the original Dragons on Dragon’s Den for the first four years of the series. Although he has left the series to look at other opportunities, he continues to be actively involved with the nine investments he made during the series. Bobby is also a popular business, entrepreneurial and motivational speaker.

Bobby is also a keen sailor and runner. He lives with his wife Mary and their four daughters by the sea in Sandycove, County Dublin.

Michael Mulhall

Founder and CEO of FinTech Innovations

Michael has been a pioneer and innovator in internet and FinTech businesses for almost 25 years. From his initial development of Labyrinth Solutions in 1996 when he built an award-winning international internet and e-commerce enterprise, to his development of innovative wealth management and personal finance management (PFM) platforms, he has demonstrated a capacity to anticipate how innovation can disrupt the status quo.

As a recognized expert, Michael has been regularly invited to contribute on key areas of FinTech innovation and consumer behaviour to diverse forums including, the European Brexit Banking & Payments Council, the Scottish Irish FinTech Initiative, FinTech Payments Association Ireland, Dublin City University (DCU) Open Banking Research Partner, Dublin Business School, European Consumer Debt Network and Mastercard’s Open Banking Digital Safari.

Gerry Hiney

Managing Director Park Financial Planning / SwitchMyMortgage.ie

Gerry is Managing Director of Park Financial Planning and SwitchMyMortgage.ie, who are specialist mortgage brokers based in Dublin. Gerry is a Qualified Financial Advisor and has over 30 years’ experience in the mortgage business. Gerry’s companies deal with all the major lenders operating in the Irish mortgage market.

Gerry is a member of AIMA (Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors) and Brokers Ireland.

John Mitchell

MD at Strata3 and Lead Web Optimisation Consultant at AdBirds Global

With 17 years of experience, John manages a leading digital consulting, design and development agency with clients in the US and EMEA. John previously worked as an analyst on Wall Street, sold to fortune 500 companies in the US, and offers a full-set of management skills from finance and sales to marketing and digital business strategy.

Shane Lynn PhD

CEO at EdgeTier

Dr. Shane Lynn is an entrepreneur in Dublin with a background in machine learning research and artificial intelligence. Shane's current company, EdgeTier, specialises in the development of AI-powered tools for customer service teams. Shane has vast experience in telecommunications plans and pricing strategies, having previously developed consumer comparison services and pricing simulation tools for the industry.

Maeve Harrington

Marketeer, project manager and founder of In and Out Marketing & Project Management

With almost 30 years’ experience gained in the life assurance, energy, advertising, telecoms, finance, FMCG and market research industries, Maeve is an experienced marketeer and project manager.

Having worked as a marketing executive, marketing manager, director, and project manager, Maeve is now founder and owner of In and Out Marketing & Project Management, where she uses her wealth of experience to help businesses with projects big and small through a practical and hands-on approach.

Bart Lehane

CTO of EdgeTier

Bart Lehane is the CTO of EdgeTier, a company which helps customer service teams double their efficiency using a mix of artificial intelligence and automation. Bart has over 15 years of experience in the technology sector. Prior to founding EdgeTier, Bart worked in Openet Telecom where he helped deliver software systems into some of the largest mobile providers in the world.

Richard Brophy

Lecturer at TU Dublin for marketing, entrepreneurship and other business subjects

Richard has strong management and financial services experience having worked in the industry for over 15 years at various levels of management. He is currently a lecturer at Technological University (TU) Dublin for marketing, entrepreneurship and other business subjects and does work for various financial education establishments and third-level institutions on curriculum development.

Richard has researched and published articles on financial services in a number of Irish and international academic journals and obtained his PhD in Financial Services Marketing from the University of South Wales. He is a winner of a number of awards including the MyIBA (Brokers Ireland) Educational Award in 2015.

Richard is a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Insurance Broker.

Joan Mulvihill

Centre Director for the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce (IC4) at DCU

Joan Mulvihill has been at the heart of the tech community in Ireland for the past decade, having previously held the position of CEO of the Irish Internet Association. Working with the very best technology entrepreneurs and researchers across the spectrum of start-up and scaling indigenous business to established global operators, Joan is a long-time champion of innovation and a recognised industry spokesperson.

Joan is a regular conference chair, keynote speaker and media contributor on all things business and technology related as well as a chief collaborator for conference organizers, champion of innovation and mentor to many.

Peter Callan

Consultant and Former Finance Director at The Irish Times

Peter is an experienced finance director who has worked in the media, digital, software, technology, manufacturing and construction sectors. Peter has a strong track record of working with small, medium and large-sized organisations to identify new revenue opportunities, improve operational performance, and implement strategic cost reduction programmes.

Peter currently provides outsourced CFO/Finance Director services on a part-time basis to ambitious companies looking to grow while remaining in control. Peter is a Chartered Accountant, with a Business Degree from UCD.

Ross Leonard

Chief Commercial Officer, Cambrist

Ross has 15 years of experience in financial services, payments and strategy consulting. Ross has worked across multiple jurisdictions (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong & Ireland) in multiple areas of the financial services industry (investment banking, investment management, corporate and retail banking and payments), delivering insightful analysis of key challenges, and designing and executing innovative solutions to challenges.

Having spent 14 years in traditional banking roles, Ross has moved to Cambrist, an award-winning FinTech, as Chief Commercial Officer. Cambrist enables retail banks to bring travel card features and benefits to their existing debit and credit card programmes. Cambrist’s innovative multi-currency processing platform enables retail banks to build new fx-based innovations, defend against new market entrants and comply with new EU regulations on cross-border payments. Ross has a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin and is a CFA Charterholder.

Bladhana Richardson

Head Of Marketing Travelopia

Bladhana is an experienced brand manager and marketer with over two decades of experience in the sector in both the UK and Ireland.

Having worked for several years as Advertising and Brand Manager at Sainsbury's Bank, Bladhana is currently Head of Marketing with Travelopia, one of the world’s leading experiential travel businesses.