Business

Seedcorn adds new low-carbon award to latest prize fund

Launching the 19th year of InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn competition are the initiative's programme manager Connor Sweeney with one of last year's award winners Shannon Beattie, chief operations officer at GenoME Diagnostics. Picture: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

INTERTRADEIRELAND’S Seedcorn competition, now in its 19th year, has added a new low-carbon €20,000 cash award to its €300,000 pot for 2021.

Seedcorn is Ireland's largest investor readiness competition, aimed at new start and early stage companies in any sector across the island, offering the biggest prize fund, with entries open between now and 1pm on Friday May 28 (details at https://intertradeireland.com/funding/seedcorn).

Seedcorn programme manager Connor Sweeney said: “Securing investment and accessing investors can be a challenge and draw heavily on resources at any time. However, during the Covid pandemic it has been even more testing, which is why we expect this competition to resonate with firms who have big ideas and big growth potential.

“This competition not only gives entrants access to investors who are actively seeking to back high growth companies, but also opens up a host of learning opportunities through a series of online workshops aimed at helping firms prepare their business plan to the highest possible standard.

“The competition process and learnings gained will ultimately allow them to continue to be investor ready long after the competition ends.

“Many companies that have gone through the competition process, and who have not been winners, have spoken highly of the process. Those who have been finalists at past events, have gone on to raise in excess of

€270m.”

Seedcorn is aimed at companies seeking to raise equity funding. They can enter one of two categories; ‘new start’ or ‘early stage’ to generate investment enabling them to grow and develop.

Last year’s winner, Northern Ireland firm GenoME Diagnostics, which is developing a novel blood test to detect an earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer, secured a €50,000 cash prize which it is using to validate its new product and fast track its use in clinics. The company has also benefited from greater visibility globally.

Its chief operations officer Shannon Beattie said: “Seedcorn was an invaluable process that I would highly recommend to other companies or entrepreneurs from any sector. The competition closely mimics that of the investor process.

“The Seedcorn team, along with the real investors and VCs involved in the competition, have been fantastic in providing detailed feedback and suggestions, not just on the business plan and pitch, but also on the business itself.”

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