Sharon Cunningham has been named Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur, securing a total investment fund of €40,000 for her company.

The co-founder of Shorla Pharma won the prize at a Local Enterprise Office event in Dublin yesterday, beating competition from 185 other entrants.

Sharon Cunningham, a Waterford native, started Shorla Pharma with her former EirGen colleague Orlaith Ryan who is based out of Tipperary.  

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A qualified chartered account, Cunningham founded Shorla in 2018 after identifying a significant issue in the pharmaceutical industry.  

Shorla focuses on improving existing treatments for children's and women's cancers making them more user friendly. 

Their first product is the redevelopment of a children's cancer drug from a difficult to swallow capsule, into an oral solution. 

The awards - run by the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in local authorities nationwide - is funded by the Government of Ireland and supported by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland.

They attracted over 1,600 applicants in 2019 with an investment fund of €2m. 

Already through the programme, 186 entrants have secured investments of between €3,000 and €15,000 each.