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NI companies urged to enter Seedcorn competition

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Northern Ireland companies in the seed, start-up and early stages of business development, who are seeking to ramp up their funding, are being urged to enter InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition before it closes at 1pm next Friday, May 28, to be in with a chance to win a share of a €300,000 cash prize fund – with the overall winner taking away €100k.

The competition that launched earlier this year, boasting an additional new low-carbon €20k cash award, mirrors the challenging real-life investment process.

Participants are advised on how to develop their business plan, present business propositions, improve their ‘investor readiness’, benefit from exposure with venture capitalists, angel and other investors and get the chance to increase the profile of their business.

Seedcorn Programme Manager Connor Sweeney said:

“Seed finance can be notoriously hard to attract. However, during the Covid pandemic it has been even more testing, which is why we expect this competition to resonate with firms who have big ideas and big growth potential.

“We would encourage young Northern Ireland companies that meet the criteria to submit their entries before the closing date of 1pm on Friday, 28 May, and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

“The competition is straightforward to enter and since its inception in 2003, regional finalists have gone on to secure in excess of €270m in new equity funding.”

Two companies in Northern Ireland are guaranteed to take away €20k each as regional winners before going on to compete in the all-island final later in the year with a chance to win the overall title or category title with cash prizes of 100k and 50k respectively.

Seedcorn is aimed at companies seeking to raise equity funding.

They can enter one of two categories; ‘new start’ or ‘early stage’ to generate investment enabling them to grow and develop.

Last year’s category winner, NI firm GenoME Diagnostics, which is developing a novel blood test to detect an earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer, secured a €50,000 cash prize which it is using to validate its new product and fast track its use in clinics. The company has also benefited from greater visibility globally.

Shannon Beattie, Chief Operations Officer, GenoME Diagnostics, said: “Seedcorn was an invaluable process that I would highly recommend to other companies or entrepreneurs from any sector.

“The competition closely mimics that of the investor process.

“The Seedcorn team along with the real investors and VCs involved in the competition have been fantastic in providing detailed feedback and suggestions, not just on the business plan and pitch, but also on the business itself.”

The closing date for this year’s competition is 1pm, Friday, May 28, 2021.

n For more information about the competition and to apply, visit: intertradeireland.com/funding/seedcorn

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