Local businesses achieve “take-off” through seedcorn business competition
25 November 10
Northern Ireland Company recognised as the best overall “spin-out” in the largest business competition on the island
One of Northern Ireland’s newest businesses, Lenis Aer, a University of Ulster spin-out venture has been recognised as one of the best early stage companies on the island. The company was announced as the overall winner for best venture stemming from a university spin-out / platform programme at InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn All-island business competition final, which was held in the Europa Hotel on Wednesday 24th November.
Lenis Aer has developed a highly innovative and patent-protected process for the manufacture of aircraft engine ‘Lip Skins.’ A Lip Skin is the leading edge of an aero engine surround structure and by producing a unit that is considerably deeper than traditional skins, Lenis Aer’s offering achieves reduced turbulence and drag which delivers considerable fuel cost savings for the aircraft company.
Accepting the award and a cash-prize of €10,000 on behalf of Lenis Aer were company directors, Edel O’Neill and Alan Leacock. Edel O’Neill commented: “InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition is widely acknowledged for its impact on emerging and high growth companies. Having just been established as a company within the last two months, and we delighted to join this elite group at such an early stage in our development. In this product, we have brought advanced process methodology to the market-place which is worth an estimated £4 billion over the next twenty years.”
Also recognised at the awards ceremony were local finalists, Belfast based LamhRoe and instaGiv, Portstewart. Both companies took home a €20,000 share of prize fund as the Northern Ireland regional winners for the Best High Growth and Best Emerging Company categories. The regional winners missed out on the overall all-island prize funds but as finalists in the flagship competition they have been tipped as the “ones to watch” in the coming years. Previous finalists have gone on to secure over £109 million in equity funding since taking part in the InterTradeIrland Seedcorn Business competition process.
Recognising the achievements of the successful local companies, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “I would like to congratulate Lenis Aer, LamhRoe and InstaGiv on their tremendous achievement in InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Business competition. High potential growth companies play an important role in our economy and initiatives such as the Seedcorn competition provide much needed support for local firms at a crucial stage in their early development.”
InterTradeIreland Chief Executive Liam Nellis added: “Once again, the quality of the business plans we received is a testament to the level of innovation and entrepreneurial excellence of our SMEs North and South. InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition is now in its eight year and has grown to become the biggest business competition on the island of Ireland. Many of our previous finalists have gone on to become international success stories we have great hopes for our 2010 winners and are proud to support them as they embark on their ambitious growth plans.”