UCD spin off SiriusXT was named Best Early Stage Company and city centre based KillBiller was named Best New Start company at the regional final. Both beat off tough competition to each walk away with a €20,000 cash prize to help finance the early stages of their ventures. The companies will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place on Wednesday 25th November at Clontarf Castle, Dublin.
SiriusXT has spent eight years developing the technology for its soft x-ray microscope called SXT. SXT is the first soft x-ray microscope of its kind in the world; it is a benchtop system that allows researchers to produce images in their own labs. Their product takes a powerful laser to make a little fireball as hot as the centre of the sun and about a tenth of the width of a human hair in diameter. This fireball produces a kind of light that allows them to illuminate single cells or tissue samples and produce beautiful 3D images of cells that cannot be produced any other way. The images reveal in unprecedented detail the inner workings of life, drugs and disease on a cellular scale. The light sources that have been used to pioneer the technique are the size of a football stadium and cost over €250 million. Their light source will fit on a small table, and will let disease and drug researchers see changes in cells with a tool they can easily fit into their microscopy labs.
KillBiller has developed an analytical product for mobile operators and a mobile application for consumers. For mobile operators, they provide analytic tools and software that allows mobile operators to attract customers and helps them to design optimal tariffs in a highly competitive marketplace. For consumers, KillBiller provides a mobile application to consumers that allows people to analyse their mobile phone usage and accurately choose the best mobile phone package and provider for them.
Now in its 13th year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for new start and early stage companies in any sector, from any part of the island. The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000, with no equity stake. To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 2,151 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With €197 million in new equity being raised by the companies who have reached the regional finals stage of the Seedcorn competition over the past 12 years, the competition has a strong track record of supporting early business start-ups to become investor ready.
Tony McEnroe, CEO, SiriusXT said; “We are delighted to win best Early Stage company at the Dublin regional final. The most rewarding part of the Seedcorn process so far has been hearing investors acknowledge that they ‘get’ the value proposition when this is presented. We have learned that it is not just the best technology that makes the best business proposition, but the best complete solution for the target customer’s problem. This is a package of solid technology, a commercial team with application knowledge, a large, well-defined addressable market and high barriers to entry for competitors that make for a story attractive to investors.”
Shane Lynn, CEO and founder, KillBiller said; “The Seedcorn competition has provided excellent feedback on our business plan, on which we were working at this time. The business planning and investment pitch master classes also provided invaluable training for our team in future. The coming weeks and months for KillBiller represent a period of extremely quick growth as we expand into markets that are much larger than Ireland. The prize money from the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition will be invaluable in providing support for this expansion and funding marketing and sales activities in the new regions. This prize couldn’t come at a better time for KillBiller.”
Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Project Manager, InterTradeIreland added; “Seedcorn is considered the most important barometer for new and emerging companies among the investment and business communities in Ireland. Not only does the competition deliver a cash prize for the winners, but it also allows businesses to experience the competitive investor pitch process and equips them with the skills for future pitches.
Since the competition inception over 12 years ago, the standard of the companies taking part has risen year on year and I sincerely congratulate both SiriusXT and KillBiller on their win today against very tough competition. The Seedcorn Competition reaches out to businesses early in their development and it’s exciting for InterTradeIreland to work with these companies at such a crucial stage in their journey. I look forward to seeing the business grow from strength to strength.”
SiriusXT will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Connaught & Leinster, and Munster finals for the title of overall Best Early Stage Company.
KillBiller will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Connaught & Leinster, and Munster finals for the title of overall Best New Start Company.
The all-island final will take place at Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin on the 25th November, where regional winners are in with a chance to compete for the overall ‘Category Award’ prize worth €50,000 or the ‘Overall Winner Award’ prize worth €100,000.
Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) #itiseedcorn or on LinkedIn (Seedcorn Network) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts.
Further details are also available on the Seedcorn website at www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn