Limerick Company among the winners at National Enterprise Awards

Mark Maher and Ciaran Cooke, Odyssey Studios pictured at the Limerick Strand Hotel following the Limerick Local final of the National Enterprise awards. Pic: Paul Mullins Photography

ODYSSEY Studios, who are supported by Local Enterprise Office Limerick, were winners at this year’s National Enterprise Awards.

The awards, which took place virtually were broadcast online from the Mansion House in Dublin, are in their 22nd year and run annually by the Local Enterprise Offices.

Odyssey Studios, which was set up in 2017 by Mark Maher and employs six people in Limerick took home the South West Region award.

The state of the art model-making studio based on the Dock Road, in the city is one of the largest permanent model making studios in Europe. The studio supplies blockbuster film and TV productions with miniature models, weapons, armour, props and prosthetic makeup and the teams have worked on films such as The Hobbit, Penny Dreadful and Into the Badlands.

Odyssey’s next generation facility houses the latest in design and production technology for laser cutting and 3D scanning, modelling and printing, making Odyssey a one stop shop for productions and individual artists from the concept stage, through to the finished article.

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Congratulating the company, Mike Cantwell, Head of Enterprise at LEO Limerick said: “A massive well done to Mark and all the team at Odyssey Studios on receiving their regional award. Film tech is a relatively new sector for the mid-west and this award highlights the growing opportunities that exist in that sector and is much deserved.”

“Micro and small companies need to be supported as they grow from ideas into thriving businesses and the team in LEO Limerick is there to help them achieve their potential.”

The overall winner at the National Enterprise Awards was Mullingar mobile craft canning company, Bevcraft. Established in 2016 by friends Ciaran Gorman and Darren Fenton the company has gone from strength to strength.

They now work with over 250 brands to can their produce using their mobile canning technology. They are operating across 5 European countries and in 2021 aim to handle over 50million cans.

Along with the overall winner, five category winners were announced:

  • Innovation Award – VRAI. They provide virtual reality training simulations to companies who may work in remote or dangerous areas.
  • Best Export Award – Kianda Technologies. The company has achieved significant penetration in global export markets with their business automation software that streamlines business processes in areas such as finance, HR and quality.
  • Future Focus Award – Lidan Designs. The business creates modular energy efficient buildings off-site in the areas of offices, schools and housing.
  • Brexit Ready Award – Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese. The raw milk artisan cheddar cheese producer’s impressive response to Brexit has seen them actually grow their business on the back of the UK leaving the EU, accessing new markets.
  • Pivot Award winner went to A personalised gifting company who relied heavily on corporate gifting saw their business disappear once the pandemic hit but pivoted to sell direct to consumers. The response has seen them excel in an extremely competitive market.

Announcing the awards, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English said: “The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the sheer talent, determination and success which exists in Irish businesses.

The winners tonight are outstanding companies and, along with all the finalists, are trailblazers for every small business and budding entrepreneur across the country. I have no doubt that the companies here will continue to grow their businesses, create more jobs and make a significant contribution to their local economies.

The foundations of the Irish economy is built on by small businesses and through these awards we can recognise their valuable role in society.”

This year’s winners share a €50,000 investment fund and eight regional winners were also announced on the night. Those winners were:

  • Odyssey Studios in the South West Region (backed by LEO Limerick)
  • The Artisan Pizza Company in the Dublin Region (backed by LEO South Dublin)
  • QPQ in the Mid East Region (backed by LEO Kildare)
  • Submit Software Solutions in the South Region (backed by LEO Cork City)
  • Irish Fluid Controls in the South East Region (backed by LEO Carlow)
  • Dromod Boxty in the North West Region (backed by LEO Leitrim)
  • Qualitas Electronics in the North East Region (backed by LEO Meath)
  • Armour Interactive in the West Region (backed by LEO Galway)

Also honoured on the night with the inaugural National Enterprise Awards Outstanding Achievement award was former Netwatch co-founder and CEO David Walsh.

Walsh, who worked closely with LEO Carlow as he built Netwatch into a global company with over 250,000 clients across four continents, is now co-founder and CEO of a new start-up HaloCare.

The Kerry native was honoured for his success and innovation but also his continued support of entrepreneurship in Carlow.

Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards include Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004) and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018) and in 2019, Pestle & Mortar.

The National Enterprise Awards are one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the Student Enterprise Programme, and National Women’s Enterprise Day. The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.

Established in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices are the essential resource for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow.

The LEOs work with over 7,000 client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice and financial supports to small businesses. For more information, see