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Northern Ireland Seedcorn Regional Winners Announced

Published on 18th November 2019

RotaPal from Hillsborough and Waterworx Robotics Ltd from Omagh, have been have been crowned ‘Best New Start’ company and ‘Best Early Stage’ company respectively, each walking away with €20,000, at the Northern Ireland Final of the 2019 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition. Both companies fought off tough competition having delivered an investment pitch 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 in Dublin on the 28th November where the overall ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Best Early Stage’ companies will be announced winning €50,000 each, and ultimately the ‘Overall Winner’ who will pocket €100,000 to contribute to their business growth.

Founded by two doctors, Michael Eames and Johnny Warnock in 2015, RotaPal is a mobile app and online platform that allows easy building and publishing of rotas in hospitals. Users can swap shifts, plan leave, even pick up locum work while RotaPal instantaneously updates everyone in real time. Ensuring a connected hospital ecosystem 24/7.

Commenting on their win, Harry Eves, CEO of RotaPal said;

“We are delighted to win ‘Best New Start’ company in the Northern Ireland Final. This is actually our second year as an applicant of the Seedcorn Competition. We learnt a lot last year, particularly, the importance of industry wide competitor analysis and building a deep and comprehensive understanding of what makes us different. With two of the founders doctors, the company has a front line understanding of the problem and subsequently the solution. This unique understanding ensures we are continually building a product fit for purpose.”

Waterworx Robotics Ltd was founded in 2018 by Sean O’Hare, Danny Poyntz, Eamon Teague and Martin O’Hare. The company have developed a new autonomous, multi-sensor NDT investigation drone, that can be inserted into live under-pressure water trunk mains and carry out long range inspections.

Commenting on their win, Sean O’Hare, CEO of Waterworx Robotics Ltd said;

“Winning ‘Best Early Stage’ company in the Northern Ireland Final is a great success for us. We are actively seeking investment and Seedcorn has helped focus the company on that funding journey through developing an investment ready business plan, investor pitching and pitch decks and an introduction to the all-Ireland investment ecosystem. The prize money will support next stage of development, allow us to grow the team further and explore the wider market across the UK and USA.”

To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 2,300 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With almost €254m in equity funding being secured by entrepreneurs who have entered the Seedcorn competition it emphasises its position as the premier competition for high growth start-up companies on the island of Ireland.

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