Belfast firms pocket cash prizes at InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn Awards

Shannon Beattie, chief operating officer at GenoME Diagnostics.

BELFAST firm GenoME Diagnostics has pocketed a cash prize of €50,000 after being named ‘best new start’ at the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition on Wednesday.

The biggest competition for businesses start-ups on the island, some 3,100 companies have been through the programme, with finalists raising in excess of £232m in equity funding.

Established in Belfast in 2020, GenoME Diagnostics are currently developing a novel blood test to detect an earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Their technology can be applied to biomarker discovery and development in a wide range of diseases and applications.

Shannon Beattie from GenoME Diagnostics said: “The prize money will allow us to validate our ovarian cancer diagnostic and get it into clinics as quickly as possible. It will also provide us with the opportunity to increase our business visibility internationally through networking at tradeshows and conferences.”

The online awards ceremony also saw fellow Belfast firm Sonrai Analytics take a €10,000 award for the ‘best Company stemming from a university spin-out or support programme’.

The firm has created a data-integration platform for precision medicine to accelerate discovery in diseases impacting lives today.

CEO and founder of Sonrai Analytics, Darragh McArt said: “The prize money will help to support new developments and bolster existing projects. We entered Seedcorn to gain constructive feedback on our business as well as raising our profile.

“Writing the business plan really helped us to refine our unique selling points and clarify our key product messages that we’re now using throughout our marketing. It has served as a great reminder of how far we’ve come in a short space of time.”

The overall winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Competition was NUA Surgical, who took home a €100,000 prize.

The medical start-up from Galway developed SteriCISION, a novel C-section retractor that tackles the major unmet needs of the caesarean section (C-section).

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