The Search is on to Find the Best New Start and Early Stage Company on the Island


€280,000 prize fund

Entrepreneurs across the island could get a huge cash boost for their business, thanks to a total prize fund of €280,000, offered by InterTradeIreland’s 16th Seedcorn Business Competition 2018.


The competition is the largest on the island in terms of the prize fund available and gives fledgling firms a cash injection of up to €100,000 to help their business grow and develop. Seed finance can be notoriously hard to attract and this competition is an opportunity for ambitious start-ups to get their new business ideas off the ground.

Helping firms to be investor-ready

The competition supports SMEs in the development of a business idea, gaining exposure to venture capitalists, other investors and senior business leaders, and increasing the credibility and profile of the business involved.

Invaluable support

Seedcorn mimics a real Venture Capital investment process which builds the capacity and experience of all those participating with firms benefiting from advice from top investment experts.

Additional benefits

As well as the chance of winning vital funds, participants receive invaluable guidance, tips and advice from experts, investors and other entrepreneurs, as well as guidance as to business plans and pitch proposals to better demonstrate their offering to potential investors.

Phion Therapeutics

Last year’s overall winner was Phion Therapeutics from Belfast which sells services (contract research) and licences (right-to-use-its technology for pharmaceutical development and therapeutic applications). The competition taught them to ‘think big from the start’ and helped them to develop a clearer business plan.

Success following the competition

Since Phion’s win, the company has had interest from investors across the globe from America to Japan. The prize money of €100,000 enabled them to take on another employee and to attend important conferences attended by potential customers as well as to implement a full marketing programme at these events, which led to a queue of major players lining up to talk to them. They have hit all their Seedcorn milestones and are now market ready and excited about what the future has in store for them.

Equity raised since 2003

Since its inception in 2003, companies who have gone through Seedcorn have raised in excess of €229m; last year alone, in excess of €10m was raised.”

Enter now!

This year’s competition is now open for registration here and businesses are encouraged to submit an entry. Deadline for submissions is 1 June 2018.

Follow the action

You can follow all the action throughout the 2018 competition by searching for and using #ITIseedcorn and following  @iti_seedcorn.


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