Fledgling firms pocket €20,000 each in Seedcorn cash

Connor Douglas (left), Vincent McCorry (centre) and Connor Sweeney
Connor Douglas (left), Vincent McCorry (centre) and Connor Sweeney

MODERN Democracy from Derry and Photonics Measurements from Belfast have each secured €20,000 in funding at the Northern Ireland final of the 2015 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn investor readiness competition.

And as well as using the cash to help finance the early stages of their ventures, each now goes forward to national final at Clontarf Castle in Dublin on November 25, chasing the overall winner's prize of €100,000.

Modern Democracy produces mobile applications to encourage people to feel more involved in politics, including a voter engagement app and a polling station app. It also provides consultancy services for elections.

While targeting the UK initially, Modern Democracy has already provided consultancy services in Europe and the Middle East.

Photonic Measurements makes devices to analyse the quality of water in terms of chemical content, murkiness, organic content and colour and its first customers will be large water utilities and a university, situated in the UK and Ireland. It then intends to start selling into Europe in 2016.

Now in its 13th year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for new-start and early-stage companies in any sector from any part of the island, and has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000 with no equity stake.

To date InterTradeIreland has supported more than 2,151 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process, and €197 million in new equity has been raised by the companies which have reached the regional finals stage of the competition over the past 12 years.

Connor Sweeney, InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn project manager, said: “Seedcorn is considered the most important barometer for new and emerging companies among the investment and business communities across the island, delivering a cash prize and also allowing winning businesses to experience the competitive investor pitch process and equips them with the skills for future pitches.

“Since the competition’s inception the standard of the companies taking part has risen year on year and I congratulate Modern Democracy and Photonic Measurements on their win against very tough competition.”

Further details are also available on the Seedcorn website at