The 2019 Seedcorn competition is now over, and what a competition it was. The overall winner was Pinpoint Innovations from Limerick – their Tracworx system helps smooth patient flow in hospitals and improves efficiencies. The best New Start Category winner was Atlantic Photonic Solutions from Castlebar who have developed a solution to a problem that affects farmed salmon.
The judges had a difficult decision in selecting the winners of both categories; there honestly could have been more than one winner of each section. Interestingly, this was Pinpoint’s third attempt at the Seedcorn competition. Each year they have taken on the feedback and used it to improve, and this year it finally paid off.
Reflecting back on the 2019 competition, 276 companies registered, with 202 completing their application and submitting the visual element. The first round of shortlisting took place and 176 companies were invited to proceed. These were then whittled down to the 24 finalists.
Although the competition ends in November, it really is a much longer process than that. It all begins each year in March when our website opens for registrations. We carry out a series of information workshops all around the island to provide companies with information on the benefits of entering the Seedcorn process and to answer any questions that they may have on investment in general.
Of course, it’s nice to be a winner, however the competition isn’t all about the prize money; the learning that the companies go through on their journey is where the real value is in Seedcorn. The application system has been designed to mimic the real-life investment process. And most of the companies understand this. We always try to encourage the non-winning finalists to attend the awards ceremony, and this year I got a lovely message from one company saying that they were really deflated after losing, but had their confidence restored following the awards night.
Of course, with the awards being so close to the year-end every November, it means that there’s only a short period to set the calendar for the following year, get the venues booked early, and to set the budget.
You can view this year’s Seedcorn finalists and winners here. To find out more about the Seedcorn competition visit https://intertradeireland.com/seedcorn
By Funding for Growth team