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What is Seedcorn?

For start-ups and early-stage businesses, the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is the perfect chance to get ‘investor ready’. The Seedcorn contest mirrors the real-life investment process. Participants, who are in with a chance to win a share of a €300,000 cash prize fund, can secure expert feedback on their business plans and pitches, improve their investor readiness and gain exposure to investors, all while boosting their firm’s profile.


There are ten cash prizes up for grabs and entrepreneurs compete against each other regionally before competing for the all-island Best New Start and Best Early Stage Company titles.

Every business idea / plan submitted is reviewed by our investment experts and you are given individual feedback on request. Shortlisted companies also get a unique opportunity to pitch to investors and business leaders.


Overall winner


Best category winner

6x €20,000

Regional winners


Special award winner for the best venture stemming from a university spin-out or support programme


Low carbon / Green award

Who Can Enter

  • The competition is aimed at independent ventures incorporated on the island of Ireland (Ireland or Northern Ireland) in the seed, start up or early stages of business development and ideally targeting international markets.
  • The competition is for individuals or venture teams, who have created, manage and own such ventures.
  • The promoters/founder entrepreneurs are to have played a major role in conceiving the venture, continuing to have key management roles and to own significant equity.
  • Ventures which have already raised external equity in excess of €1m (or sterling equivalent) are not eligible.

The judges are looking for the same elements as a potential investor including:

  • High growth companies
  • The optimum risk/reward profile
  • A strong management team
  • Ability to exit

Official Rules and Entry Kit

(PDF 416.2 KB)


Seedcorn Enquiries

If you have any questions about Seedcorn eligibility or rules, or InterTradeIreland funding services in general, please get in touch.

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