Moffett Automated Storage founder chosen as 2023 EY Entrepreneur of the Year

The 26th annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards were held in Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow on Thursday

Sam Moffett, managing director and founder of Moffett Automated Storage Ltd, was named as EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2023 at the annual awards ceremony held in Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow on Thursday evening.

Mr Moffett, who also won the best emerging entrepreneur award, founded the company in 2017 to provide automated pallet storage and warehousing solutions to clients.

EY praised the “disruptive and dynamic business” for the cost, operational and sustainability benefits it offers to clients. Moffett Automated Storage Ltd is headquartered in Monaghan and employs 65 people.

Mr Moffett is the son of Robert Moffett, co-founder of Combilift, and previously the driving force behind Moffett Engineering, the company synonymous with the success of the Moffet Mounty truck mounted forklift. He left school at 17 to join the family business.


This is only the second time in the 26-year history of the awards that the winner of the emerging entrepreneur has gone on to win the overall entrepreneur of the year title. The first time was when Martin McVicar won the award with Combilift.

Accepting the award for best emerging entrepreneur, Mr Moffett thanked his wife and family, as well as his dedicated staff.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to what this is going to bring forward for my business and the team within that business,” he told The Irish Times.

“There’s been entrepreneurs the whole way through on all sides of my family, on my mother’s and father’s side. I’m just blessed that I can bring something home to the whole family, it’s a recognition for everybody,” he added.

Looking ahead, Mr Moffett said that the plan is to “keep growing, see where we can go, and keep pushing international sales”.

“This whole EY programme could bring us to a new height as well, so we’ll see where that brings us,” he said.

Dr Andrew Woods, chief executive and founder of Catagen was the recipient of this year’s sustainability award, for making the biggest contribution towards environmental sustainability through his business. The Belfast-based cleantech company aims to clean and decarbonise air by providing a range of emissions tests for after-treatment systems to vehicle manufacturers.

Meanwhile, chief executive of An Post David McRedmond was presented with a special recognition award, for “his work in leading some of Ireland’s best known businesses through transformational change”.

Roger Wallace, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year partner lead, said it was a “privilege” to get to know shortlisted entrepreneurs and their businesses.

“On behalf of EY, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to this year’s award winners. These entrepreneurs have shown themselves to be visionary leaders in their industries, developing innovative concepts that enhance how we live, work, and experience the world around us,” he said.

Anne Heraty, former EY Entrepreneur of the Year and chair of the 2023 judging panel, congratulated the winners, adding that the calibre of finalists was “incredibly high”.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath paid tribute to the “great entrepreneurs Ireland has to offer”.

He said that despite “facing many stiff headwinds” in recent times, the resilience of the Irish economy has shone through, thanks in part to the “optimism and can-do attitude of entrepreneurs”.

Collectively the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni community generates revenues of €25 billion, and employs more than 250,000 people across Ireland

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland programme is supported by Julius Baer International, as well as Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.