The competition is open to all independent companies incorporated in Ireland or Northern Ireland in the seed, start-up or early stages of business development and ideally targeting international markets.
Encouraging start-up and early stage companies to enter before the deadline, Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn project manager for InterTradeIreland said: “InterTradeIreland works with a number of young companies and in our experience the environment has never been better for start-ups to attract finance. The Seedcorn competition in particular provides young companies with a real opportunity to start developing their investment skills and put their business plan to the test. For the winners, it also provides a significant cash boost and access to an extensive business and investment community that can help raise their profile and create further investment opportunities in the future”
Initial applications will be shortlisted by a selection panel with successful companies being invited to submit their full business plan. If shortlisted, companies then are invited to deliver an investment pitch in front of the judging panel comprising venture capitalists, business angels and some of the island’s leading industry entrepreneurs and business experts. Prior to attending regional finals, each company will be invited to attend an intensive one day investment pitch master class to help polish their presentation skills.
The winners of Best ‘Early Stage’ Company and Best ‘New Start’ Company stand to win €50,000. The overall winner will be chosen from these two and will win an additional €50,000 giving them €100,000 overall – with no equity stake being taken by InterTradeIreland. There are also regional prizes of €20,000 and one Best Spinout prize of €10,000.
“Taking part in any of the Seedcorn regional finals alone can boost the profile of a business and signal to potential investors that your company is ‘one to watch’. I would encourage young companies who meet the criteria to submit their entries before the closing date and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” Connor Sweeney concluded.
The final date for receipt of initial completed application forms is Friday 29th May and companies can register their interest in advance at www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn. Regional winners will be announced in mid November before going on to compete in the all-island grand final which takes place in Dublin on the 25th November 2015. Companies interested in getting involved with Seedcorn can follow the competition on Twitter (ITI_seedcorn) or on LinkedIn (Seedcorn Network) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts. A series of videos to explain the competition process are available to view on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn.