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Northern Ireland Seedcorn Regional Winners
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Northern Ireland Seedcorn competition regional winners unveiled

17 Nov 2021

Cocktail Keg Company Ltd and Aramune Technologies Limited are both €20,000 richer following their regional win at InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Competition

Belfast based Cocktail Keg Company Ltd and Aramune Technologies Limited have been crowned ‘Best New Start’ company and ‘Best Early Stage’ company respectively at the Belfast regional final of the 2021 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

Both companies fought off tough competition having delivered an investment pitch via video conference in front of an expert judging panel.

Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for innovative new start and early stage businesses in any sector. The winners from each of the four regions will go onto compete in the all-island final later in the month where the overall ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Best Early Stage’ companies will be announced winning €50,000 each, and ultimately the ‘Overall Winner’ will pocket €100,000 to contribute to their business growth.

Founded in 2019, Cocktail Keg Company (CKC) is the creative invention of two award winning mixologists. Originally designed for use in the hospitality industry, CKC quickly adapted their B2B strategy when Covid-19 left the business without a route to market. The specialised drinks company now provide premium ingredient multi award winning hand-crafted cocktails sold online and in shops across Northern Ireland.

Commenting on their win, Anthony Farrell, Owner and Co-founder said: “Winning ‘Best New Start company’ at the Northern Ireland final is a great success for us. The prize money will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to expand our company and explore new ideas. This includes investing in our infrastructure and training as well as rolling out a comprehensive marketing plan.”

Aramune Technologies Limited (ATL) is a newly established bio-pharma company and recent spin-out by Professor Brian Green at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast. The company aims to deliver on sustainable alternatives to environmentally harmful ingredients in animal and consumer healthcare products. Currently they are developing two novel plant extracts with potential as animal feed components and a number of veterinary and pharmaceutical applications.

Chief Executive Officer, Ashley Cooper said: “We are delighted to win ‘Best Early stage’ company at the Northern Ireland regional final and progress to the next stage of the competition, where we will compete for the overall Seedcorn title. It’s been rewarding meeting, acquiring and winning the support of new investors who share our vision of what ATL can achieve commercially. The next step for us is to reinvest competition winnings into the rapid commercialisation of our first feed material product Aramune™ for inclusion in piglet diets.”

Since the competition’s inception in 2003, more than 3,100 companies have been through the programme and finalists have raised in excess of €256m in equity funding, emphasising Seedcorn’s position as the premier competition for high growth start-up companies on the island.

Congratulating both companies, Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Programme Manager at InterTradeIreland said: “It’s a great achievement to win the regional final, the standard of entries from Northern Ireland this year has been particularly high. Congratulations to Cocktail Keg Company Ltd and Aramune Technologies Limited, they demonstrated innovation, confidence and enormous drive – all of which the judges look for when assessing the potential and longevity of a business. On behalf of InterTradeIreland, I wish them the best of luck in the competition’s overall final which takes place on November 25th.”

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