Irish web pioneer scoops top innovation prize

StatCounter owner Europe's brightest young entrepreneur

The prestigious annual contest run by BusinessWeek magazine to find the best young entrepreneurs in Europe has just closed and the winner is a 24-year old web pioneer on our own doorstep .

Aodhan Cullen, founder of Dublin-based web-metrics service StatCounter , took first prize in the competition for entrepreneurs aged 25 and under. He started his firm in 1999 when aged just 16.

Billions of pageviews

StatCounter offers a free website-tracking and analysis service to over 1.5 million users - a number that is growing by 1,500 a day. Those users track visitors to 2.2 million different websites, covering over 9 billion pageviews a month. Cullen's revenues come mostly from advertising on the site, but also from charging a small monthly fee to the highest-volume users.

From humble beginnings typing CVs for clients when he was 12, Cullen now owns one of the few websites in the world to have a Google PageRank of 10, denoting that it's about as influential as a site can get.

Bigger than Dell

Ranking engine Alexa also rates StatCounter highly - it places the Irish organisation as the 34th most-visited site in the US and as being more influential than Dell and Adobe.

Although Cullen was a clear winner in the BusinessWeek poll, we'll be sure to keep an eye on the 18 other entrepreneurs who were in the running for some more flashes of genius.