Business

Deadline looms for Seedcorn competition - and its €100,000 top prize

Reminding companies of the May 31 Seedcorn deadline is Shane O’Hanlon, funding for growth manager at InterTradeIreland

THE last day of May is also the last day for fledgling businesses to take the first steps towards getting their hands on a possible €100,000 war chest by entering this year's Seedcorn investor-ready competition.

Run by cross-border business body InterTradeIreland, the long-running pitch, aimed at companies which have an immediate equity funding requirement, has been the launching pad for a number of the island's most successful new-starts.

Mirroring the challenging of a real-life investment process, the competition carries a total prize pot of €280,000, of which at least €40,000 will go to northern firms.

Participants are advised on how to develop their business plan, present business propositions, improve their ‘investor readiness', benefit from exposure with venture capitalists, angel and other investors and get the chance to increase the profile of their business.

A series of information sessions will provide those considering applying with advice on the preparation of video clips, presentation slide decks and business plans (including one this Friday lunchtime in Propel at Ormeau Baths in Belfast).

Shane O'Hanlon, funding for growth manager for InterTradeIreland, says: “Seed finance can be notoriously difficult to attract, and Seedcorn is an ideal opportunity for ambitious start-ups to get their new ideas off the ground.

“We would encourage young Northern Ireland companies that meet the criteria to submit their entries before the closing date of Friday May 31 and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”

Two companies in Northern Ireland in the new-start and early-stage categories are guaranteed to take away €20,000 each as regional winners before going on to compete in the all-island final and a chance to win the overall or category title with cash prizes of €100,000 and €50,000 respectively.

Companies can apply via www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn, with short-listed companies being informed on Wednesday June 12 and regional winners announced in November before going on to compete in the all-island grand final in Dublin on November 28.

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