Application for the competition is a two stage process:
The initial application form involves you telling us about your business by answering 18 questions covering the relevant sections. Text boxes are limited in size to 300 characters. You cannot use more than 300 characters to answer any one question. To help you with this we have produced some simple videos to demonstrate the process.
The visual representation of the business idea can either be a short video clip or a slide show presentation, or both. Video clips MUST be limited to three minutes in length. If clips are submitted that are longer than three minutes, they will not be viewed past the three minute mark. Slide decks should be limited to under 15 slides. Visit our downloads section – later in this page – to download a presentation template and to view other useful information and advice. You can also watch our home made videos!
After the closing date of 1 June 2018, all applications will be grouped into the categories and regions that they have entered from:
New start Company category
For companies under five years old at 1 June 2018 and who are seeking to raise new equity of between €50,000 and €299,999.
Early stage Company category
For companies under five years old at 1 June 2018 and who are seeking to raise in excess of €300,000.
An initial selection panel will shortlist applications and invite successful companies to prepare a full business plan.
Shortlisted companies should prepare a full business plan. The plan should be limited to 25 pages of A4 paper plus appendices. We have created a video to demonstrate this.
To help prepare and develop your business plan, shortlisted companies can download the free business planning guide and other useful information and advice from our downloads section – to help you with your business plan. Plans should be pre-formatted and submitted in a single PDF document before Friday 1st June 2018.
Companies who already have a business plan prepared can opt to have it screened by InterTradeIreland in advance of the final submission. Companies must upload their plan for pre-screening by Friday 29 June if they wish to avail of this option. Feedback will be issued by 31 July. Pre-screening does not guarantee success in the final selection process.
Following submission of the full business plans, a selection panel will assess and score the business plans. The companies with the top three plans in each region will be invited to pitch at their respective regional final. After their pitch, regional winners are selected for each of the two categories in each of the four regions.
Dates of regional finals to follow shortly!
Prior to attending the regional final, each company shortlisted will have to opportunity to attend an investment pitch master class to assist them in the preparation of their pitch.
Following the regional finals, the judging panel will select the winning companies in each category. There will be eight winning companies, four New Start companies and four Early Stage companies who will be invited to pitch to a separate panel of judges at the all-island final which will take place in Belfast on Wednesday 21 November 2018.
The judging panel will select the two overall winners in each category and these will be announced at the award ceremony the same evening. Overall winners will receive their prize (either €50,000 or €100,000) payable by instalments based on achieving the key performance indicators in the business plan to finance the early stages of the venture.