InterTradeIreland is calling all start-ups and early stage companies across the island to enter the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition before the deadline on 26 May 2017. In addition to being in with the chance to win a share of the €280,000 total cash prize fund with no equity stake taken, shortlisted firms will also benefit from expert feedback on their business plans and access to an extensive business and investment community.
Now in its 15th year, the competition is open to all independent companies incorporated in Northern Ireland or Ireland in the seed, start-up or early stages of business development and which are, ideally, targeting international markets.
Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn project manager for InterTradeIreland, said: “With all the financial and trading uncertainly at the moment, we would encourage young, ambitious firms to use this time before Brexit to get their business in shape and improve their investment potential to help accelerate growth.
“Seedcorn is the perfect way to do that. Taking part in the competition will give entrants a real opportunity to develop their investment skills and put their business plans to the test. ”
Initial applications will be shortlisted by a selection panel with successful companies invited to submit their full business plan. The next stage in the process is to deliver an investment pitch in front of the judging panel comprising venture capitalists, business angels and some of the island’s leading industry entrepreneurs and business experts. Prior to attending regional finals, each company will also have the opportunity to attend an intensive one day investment pitch master class to help polish their presentation skills.
The winners of Best ‘Early Stage’ Company and Best ‘New Start’ Company stand to win €50,000. The overall winner will be chosen from these two and will win an additional €50,000 giving them €100,000 overall – with no equity stake being taken by InterTradeIreland. There are also six regional prizes of €20,000 and one Best Spinout prize of €10,000.
The final date for receipt of initial completed application forms is Friday 26May and companies can apply via www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn, with shortlisted companies being informed mid June. Regional winners will be announced in early November before going on to compete in the all-island grand final which takes place in Dublin this year on the 22 November 2017.
Companies interested in getting involved with Seedcorn can follow the competition on Twitter (@ITI_Seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts.