14th November 2014 – Cork company, Aventamed, was today named the Best Early Stage company at the Munster final of the 2014 InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition. Aventamed, which is based at the CREATE Building in CIT, overcame tough competition from two other finalists to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of its ventures. The company will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place on Wednesday 26th November at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast.
Now in its 12th 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 1,950 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With €174 million in new equity being raised by the companies who have reached the regional finals stage of the Seedcorn competition over the past 11 years, the competition has a strong track record of supporting early business start-ups to become investor ready.
AventaMed has developed a novel medical device which allows grommets to be placed safely and quickly in an office setting, eliminating the need for general anaesthesia and costly operating room time. With 2 million children worldwide requiring grommet surgery each year, it is the number one reason why children undergo surgery and have a general anaesthetic.
Olive O’Driscoll, CEO, AventaMed said: “We had a draft business plan which was not ready for investors and we wanted to improve this to ensure we could raise enough money to take the product to market. The Seedcorn process really helped me to write a compelling business plan as well as how to sell that plans in order to raise investment and maintain momentum in the company. We have learned so much through this process and are much more confident now going out and speaking with investors. I don’t think there are any more questions an investor could ask, that we have not been asked by a Seedcorn advisor! I’m delighted that we have won the Munster final and look forward to taking part in the grand final later this month.”
Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Project Manager, InterTradeIreland added; “This is the twelfth year of the Seedcorn competition and it is extremely encouraging to see the abundance of drive, innovative thinking and passion that entrepreneurs across the island are bringing to the table each year. 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. Companies that have reached the regional final stages of the competition are well recognised by the investor and business communities as the ‘ones to watch’ so I sincerely congratulate Aventamed 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.”
Aventamed will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Connacht & Leinster finals for the title of Overall Best Early Stage company.
The all-island final will take place at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast on the 26th November, where companies are in with a chance to compete for the overall ‘Best New Start Company’ prize worth €50,000 or the overall ‘Best Early Stage Company’ prize worth €100,000.
Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) 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