Galway-based tech start-up Byowave has been named the overall winner of the prestigious InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, pocketing a cash prize of €100,000.
Seedcorn is the only competition of its kind on the island of Ireland aimed at improving the investor readiness of innovative new start and early stage businesses. As well as a substantial prize fund of €300,000 for the winners, participants in the competition benefit from business planning workshops, unique networking opportunities and access to angel investors, and mentorship support throughout the competition.
ByoWave makes modular, accessible and customisable video game controllers for people with disabilities. The company has developed a new solution allowing users to build their own controllers based on their own physical needs, and have unrestricted access to the world of video-gaming.
Brandon Blacoe, CEO and co-founder, ByoWave
Seedcorn has been a great journey for us, and we are over the moon to be named overall winners of this year’s competition. The Seedcorn journey has been invaluable for us, and we are grateful to the programme team for all their support and encouragement throughout the process.
Eibhlin O'Riordan, co-founder of ByoWave said:
There are millions of people all over the world with a physical disability that prevents them from using traditional video game controllers. Indeed, accessibility barriers affect 40% of gamers who have a disability. We have been working for the past two and a half years to develop solutions that help people overcome this barrier, and the €100,000 prize fund will go towards our product development as we build more accessible controllers to make gaming open for everyone.
Atlas Smart Technologies, from Ballymena, Co. Antrim won the Best New Start category award and a cash prize of €50,000. Founded in 2021 by students of Queen’s University Belfast, Atlas Smart Technologies has developed an adjustable smart dumbbell, the SmartBell, providing 26 different weight levels, and Stronger Mobile, a workout app that has already been downloaded 38,000 times since its launch earlier this year.
Jack Fullerton, Chief Technology Officer at Atlas Smart Technologies said:
Being named Best New Start is a huge honour after what has already been an incredible journey for us, and the prize fund will go towards our product development and marketing. The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition has been a perfect opportunity for us to refine our business plans and practise our pitch in front of experienced investors. We are delighted to have picked up the €50,000 prize, and the guidance and feedback we received throughout the competition will prove invaluable as we take SmartBell to market.
Capella Workspace Solutions, a Dublin-based company specialising in technology to facilitate hybrid office and home based working, picked up the Sustainability / Low Carbon Award. Now in its second year, the Low Carbon prize recognises start-ups innovating within the low carbon and green sector.
Also successful on the night was cancer detection start-up EpiCapture Limited, winning a €10,000 Special Award for best venture stemming from a university spin-out or support programme. Based in NovaUCD on the University College Dublin campus, EpiCapture has developed a cutting-edge diagnostic test for prostate cancer.
Congratulating the winners, Margaret Hearty, Chief Executive Officer at InterTradeIreland said:
Seedcorn is all about promoting and nurturing the growth of innovative start-ups from across the island of Ireland, and it has been exciting to see fresh new talent from a range of sectors. As well as rewarding the winners with a substantial cash prize, Seedcorn provides all entrants with specialist support and guidance to achieve their growth plans.
ByoWave, Atlas Smart Technologies, Capella Workspace Solutions and EpiCapture each demonstrate the talent, fresh thinking and ‘can do’ attitude that epitomises the very best of what companies across this island have to offer. In the current challenging economic climate and with a global recession looming, it is innovative businesses like these who can embrace change and shape the future of our economies. InterTradeIreland is proud to support these companies at this early stage of their development. We will continue to focus on supporting SMEs to start their innovation and export journey and help them navigate a pathway to growth.
On behalf of InterTradeIreland I want to congratulate the winners on their success and wish them all the very best as they take their businesses to the next level.
For further information on the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition visit www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn and follow on Twitter @Inter_Trade.