Cork-based med-tech firm Gasgon Medical has been named the overall winner of the prestigious InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, pocketing a cash prize of €100,000.
The largest competition of its kind on the island of Ireland, Seedcorn this year offers a record total cash prize fund of €300,000. As well as substantial cash awards for the winners, all participants in the competition benefit from business planning workshops and mentorship support throughout the competition.
Gasgon Medical manufactures AirVault, a device for removing air bubbles from flowing fluids aimed primarily at medical IV infusions, the most common invasive therapy in modern healthcare. AirVault technology eliminates the need for manual nurse intervention by automatically capturing air bubbles before they become a problem – saving medical professionals time and preventing IV drug exposure.
Following his win, Vincent Forde, CEO, Gasgon Medical said:
“It is a huge honour to be named overall winner of this prestigious competition. It gives us a major boost as we close our fundraising round. The Seedcorn experience has been invaluable for us. Seedcorn has given us incredible feedback on our pitch and our business plan, some of which we have implemented already, getting us additional funding from investors we are speaking with.
“Our key objectives in the coming months are around product development and market strategy. This prize money will help us find the best people to grow our team as we move towards bringing our product to market.”
Waterford-based STYL.wrap won the New Start category award and a cash prize of €50,000. The company has developed an innovative cloud-based platform, reverse engineering sizing and fit across the fashion supply chain. Offering online fashion retailers an innovative AI-based sizing solution, STYL.wrap reduces waste and over-production, while reducing high levels of returns, saving brands millions in the process and helping them achieve sustainability goals.
STYL.wrap CEO Shana Chu said:
“Seedcorn has been an amazing journey for us. This was our third time entering the competition, and each time the process and feedback we have received has been a brilliant learning experience – allowing us to hone down our business strategy and goals. This win will help in scaling up the platform, allowing us to onboard more brands and retailers, which we are really excited about.”
In addition, Limerick-based AgriGuardian picked up a €10,000 Special Award for best venture stemming from a university spin-out or support programme. AgriGuardian has developed a wearable and app solution platform to improve farm safety for vulnerable farm-goers.
Congratulating the winners, Shane O’Hanlon, Funding for Growth Manager at InterTradeIreland said:
“New start and early stage businesses are vital to the economy, both North and South, and through Seedcorn we provide these high potential start-ups with support and guidance that will help develop their business propositions. By replicating the real-life investment process, we give these innovative young companies the opportunity to put their ideas to the test, and ensure they are investor-ready.
“Gasgon Medical, STYL.wrap and AgriGuardian are fantastic examples of what companies on this island have to offer. I congratulate them on their success, and on behalf of all of us at InterTradeIreland, I wish them every success in their business journey.”