Martin McKay, founder and CEO of Texthelp, hopes to win the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award.
After being named Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year at the end of last year, Mr McKay will compete against a further 48 high performing businessmen for the world title at a ceremony in Monaco on Thursday.
He is the latest in a string of Northern Ireland business leaders to win the all-island title, following in the footsteps of the late First Derivatives founder Brian Conlon, as well as Kainos boss Brendan Mooney and Randox founder Dr. Peter FitzGerald.
Texthelp’s literacy software helps people with communication difficulties and initially targeted people with severe speech and motor disabilities.
It now helps dyslexic, neurodivergent and physically challenged students in the classroom and has been used by many companies to support staff members with similar needs.
Founded in Antrim in 1996, the company has doubled its turnover since 2020. The latest financials for 2021 report revenue of £26.5m and pre-tax profit of £7.5m.
It has operations in the US, UK, Sweden, Norway and Australia and employs 350 people, the majority in Antrim.
Mr McKay, who is in Monaco for the event, said: “I am so proud to be part of this outstanding group of global entrepreneurs. I am even more proud to be representing Ireland in a bid to win the title of EY World Entrepreneur or It was great to connect with the other finalists from around the world.
“Together we’ve been able to build a new network that allows us to share insights into emerging trends, disruptive technologies and breakthrough ideas that all benefit our global economy. All of the companies and individuals in this year’s cohort are fantastic – I don’t know how the judges will decide.”
Rob Heron, managing partner EY Northern Ireland, said: “Martin is a truly inspiring entrepreneur and leads an incredible global company. He is also an agent of change and justice.
“Texthelp’s assistive technology empowers millions of children and adults around the world to understand, be understood and ultimately reach their full potential.
“On behalf of EY Northern Ireland and the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni, I wish Martin and the Texthelp team all the best in this year’s competition.”