Staycity founder wins EY International Entrepreneur of the Year award

EY says the Staycity Group has ‘grown to become one of Europe’s leading aparthotel operators’

Tom Walsh, chief executive and co-founder of Staycity, has been named as the best International Entrepreneur of the Year at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EoY) awards held on Thursday evening.

Mr Walsh cofounded short-term apartment rental company Staycity with his brother Ger Walsh in 2003, having grown the business from a single apartment in a former U2 recording studio in Temple Bar in Dublin.

The company specialises in the rental of short- and mid-stay aparthotels in European city locations for both business and leisure travellers.

EY said the Staycity Group, which operates under the Staycity and Wilde Aparthotels brands, has “grown to become one of Europe’s leading aparthotel operators”, with an estate of 5,300 apartments across 32 locations.


Staycity reported turnover of €175 million in 2022, up from €78 million in 2019, and has said that turnover for 2023 is on target to reach €230 million.

Earlier this month, Staycity was announced as the new primary sponsor for Dublin GAA.

After accepting his award, Mr Walsh said he was “grateful and happy for [his] team for the recognition”.

“That’s what makes a great business, those guys are just amazing and we try as a company to be amazing for our guests and amazing for our team,” he said.

Mr Walsh said that the secret to Staycity’s success has been “sticking to the knitting” of providing exceptional guest service and the same standard of support for their team.

“I think if we really stick to the knitting, keep those principles really at the fronts of our minds, people will want to do business with us, and that’s what we’ve been finding,” he said.

He said that while the company has a “big pipeline” of projects to grow from its current 5,300 apartments, their main focus for the future is “just to knuckle down and keep going”.

Nominees in the international entrepreneur category are “global players”, that operate in multiple markets, and can be headquartered in Ireland or overseas.

The other finalists in the category were Dr Andrew Woods, Catagen; Abhilash Borana, Failte Solar; Tom Keogh, Keogh’s Crisps; Nick Keegan, Mail Metrics; Brian Fahey, MyComplianceOffice; Neil Skeffington, Novelplast Teoranta; and Ted Wright, Writech Industrial Services Ltd.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.