New start and early stage companies are being invested to enter cross-border body InterTradeIreland's latest Seedcorn competition.
Aimed at innovative companies from all sectors, the 14th annual Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is the largest business competition on the island and is a must for entrepreneurs wanting to attract investment.At a time where there is a shortage of seed finance, the competition is one avenue for ambitious start ups to get their new business ideas off the ground.
Speaking about the Competition, Connor Sweeney, InterTradeIreland, said: 'With a total cash prize fund of €280,000 up for grabs, Seedcorn provides a great opportunity for early stage and new start companies to get that initial injection of cash. However, Seedcorn is much more than money – entrants can gain invaluable guidance, tips and advice from our experts, as well as investors and other entrepreneurs, on how to improve their business plan and refine their pitch and concept to demonstrate to investors that they are investor ready.'
Last year’s overall winner Ocean Survivor from Limerick, manufactures a range of safety equipment aimed primarily at the off-shore oil industry. The company has developed a simple-to-use technology that mitigates the effects of hypothermia, while promoting comfort and mental well-being in a survival situation.
Ocean Survivor’s Founder Kieran Normoyle added: 'I was absolutely delighted to have been awarded the overall prize at the 2015 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Competition national final. Aside from the prize money of €100,000, the greatest reward for us was the constructive feedback we received about our business plan. Winning the competition was a bonus and allowed us to invest in securing the necessary trials, standards and personnel required to bring our product to market. I would encourage other companies to apply this year because it is a win-win opportunity.'
Connor Sweeney commented: 'Since its inception in 2003, companies who have gone through Seedcorn have raised in excess of €200m and we only measure investments by companies who have reached regional final level. Last year alone, in excess of €10m was raised.'
Over the coming weeks, InterTradeIreland will host a series of free workshops designed to guide those considering entering this year’s competition, including providing advice on preparation of video clips, presentation slide decks and business plans. There are two Belfast workshops scheduled for April 8 in Halo NI, NI Science Park and Propel. More information on the workshops can be found on the InterTradeIreland website.
This year’s competition is now open for registration at www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn and businesses are encouraged to submit an entry. Deadline for submissions is 27 May 2016.
You can follow all the action throughout the 2016 competition by searching for and using #ITIseedcorn and following @iti_seedcorn