Winners of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Connacht and Leinster regional final have been announced as Omuu Petfood (Best New Start), and Galenband, (Best Early Stage). The winners were awarded €20,000 each and will advance to the All-Island final in Dublin on the 9th of November. The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is the largest business competition of its kind on the island of Ireland, Seedcorn has an overall prize fund of €300,000.
Omuu Petfood were awarded the ‘Best New Start’ Connacht and Leinster regional trophy. The Louth-based company is aiming to take dog nutrition to the next level with its hypoallergenic dog food and will soon be launching a veterinary telemedicine consultation service. Sustainability is a key focus for Omuu Petfood as it uses premium insect proteins in its products and 100% recyclable packaging, minimising carbon emissions. Dr. Frank Clarke, Chief Executive and Founder of Omuu Petfood, said:
As a start-up company, we are delighted to win this award, it is amazing to get recognition for being a sustainable petfood business and trying to make a positive impact on our pets and the planet. The Seedcorn competition has taught me that in business, there is always more to learn. The Seedcorn prize money will go towards new product development, including an insect treat range and an insect wet food range for the pickiest of eaters.
Galenband were awarded the ‘Best Early Stage’ Connacht and Leinster regional trophy. The Ballina company is developing a diagnostic heart telemetry system worn on the left arm, replacing invasive and expensive surgically implanted heart monitors that are presently the only options for long-term monitoring. Galenband will allow the application of treatment much earlier than has been conventionally possible, reducing stroke rates. Oisín McGrath, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Galenband, said:
We are delighted to win this award, which is a testament to the innovation and potential of our groundbreaking cardiac telemetry device - Galenband. We have seen companies benefit from participating in Seedcorn through enhanced exposure with venture capitalists, angel investors, and potential corporate investors, so we decided to apply. The feedback we have received thus far has contributed to a streamlining of our pitch and business plan, which will prove valuable in bringing this paradigm-changing technology to market.
The leaders of the six innovative start-up and early-stage companies from across Leinster and Connacht (including counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) took part in a competitive final on 18th October at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone. As part of the process, finalists presented their investment proposal to a panel of judges that included active investors. The winning entrants successfully demonstrated to the panel of judges why they believe their businesses are investor ready. The regional winners from Leinster & Connacht will have the opportunity to compete for the overall €100,000 prize at the final. Shane O’Hanlon, Funding for Growth Manager at InterTradeIreland said:
This year’s Connacht and Leinster regional final was a very competitive process across the ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Best Early Stage’ categories. Both categories had three very innovative and ambitious entrants that showcased their business plans in a professional and engaging manner. Year-on-year the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition attracts start-up and early-stage companies that are entrepreneurial in their approach. Omuu Petfood and Galenband impressed the judges with their vision and future business plans. On behalf of all of us at InterTradeIreland, I wish both companies the best of luck at the All-Island final on the 9th of November.
For start-ups and early-stage businesses, the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor-Readiness Competition provides a platform to demonstrate why these companies believe they are ‘investor ready’ and open to a funding injection. As part of the Leinster & Connacht regional final, companies pitched their business plan to a panel of industry judges that included Martin Agnew, (InterTradeIreland), Colm O Sullivan (Furthr VC), Aine Denn (Entrepreneur) and Fiona Bennington (Catalyst Inc). The process mirrored a real-life investment process, and each finalist has received expert feedback on its business plan and pitch, as well as increased exposure to investors.
For the third consecutive year, an additional €20,000 prize will be awarded for best investment proposal from a company operating in the low carbon/green sector.
For all the latest information on Seedcorn visit: www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn