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Seedcorn programme manager Connor Sweeney with Sarah Marie Rust CEO and Founder of Electric Vehicle Ecosystem
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Final call for ambitious start-ups to get investor ready with €300,000 Seedcorn Competition 2024

12 Apr 2024

InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition can help transform businesses from an idea to investment.

InterTradeIreland is encouraging ambitious early-stage and high-growth start-ups to apply for the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, the largest business competition of its kind on the island of Ireland with an overall cash prize fund of €300,000. The closing date for applications is Friday, 26th April.

Designed to help new start and early-stage businesses get investor-ready, the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition provides participating companies with the opportunity to improve their investment pitches, get expert feedback on their business plans, and gain exposure to venture capitalists, business angels, and some of the island’s leading industry experts and entrepreneurs.

Since its inception in 2003, over 3,700 companies have benefitted from entering the competition and previous overall winners hail from across Ireland and Northern Ireland, spanning a range of sectors. An integral part of the competition emphasises the collaborative spirit of entrepreneurship across the island.

Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Programme Manager at InterTradeIreland said: “In its twenty second year, the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition has been a part of some of the greatest start-up success stories on this island. We continue to be passionate about nurturing the next generation of groundbreaking businesses. This platform offers more than just a chance to win substantial cash prizes; it provides a platform for these ambitious businesses to gain expert feedback, exposure to venture capitalists, business angels, and some of the island's leading industry experts and entrepreneurs. The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition can help take your idea to investment.”

He further added; “This year's €300,000 prize fund is just one way we are committed to empowering early-stage companies with the tools and connections they need to translate their vision into reality. We are excited to see a new wave of innovative talent emerge through Seedcorn and become the future success stories of our island's thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem."

The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition offers two distinct categories - 'new start' and 'early stage', along with four regional finals.

Sarah-Marie Rust, CEO and Founder of Electric Vehicle Ecosystem and winner of the Dublin Best Early-Stage category 2023 shared her experience: “The company’s success in last year’s Seedcorn competition was instrumental for EVE. It validated our business idea and provided us with the mentorship, exposure, and confidence needed to take our venture to the next level. It was the perfect platform to hone our investor pitch as we prepared for our upcoming round. The competition realistically simulates the investment process, and the valuable lessons we learned significantly enhanced our investor readiness. I encourage all ambitious start-ups and early-stage businesses to seize this incredible opportunity.”

For the fourth consecutive year, an additional €20,000 prize will be awarded for best investment proposal from a company operating in the low carbon/green sector.

The closing date for applications to the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition 2024 is Friday, 26th of April – more information can be found here.

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