Northern Ireland entrepreneurs could get a huge cash boost for their business, thanks to a total prize fund of €280,000 being offered by the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition 2015, which is now open for entries. For further details visit www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn. The deadline for submissions is 29 May 2015.
More than just a competition
With a cash prize fund of €280,000 up for grabs, Seedcorn provides a great opportunity for early stage and new start companies in Northern Ireland. However, entrants can get so much more out of the experience, such as invaluable guidance, tips and advice from experts, investors and other entrepreneurs. They will get guidance on how to improve their business plan and investment pitch as well as how best to demonstrate to investors that their business is worth investing in.
The importance of becoming investor ready
Seedcorn encourages and assists the best start-ups on the island to become investor ready. The purpose of business plans and slide decks as part of the competition is to make the investment case for a prospective investor – how might their investment today multiply in value in the next 3-5 years? The Seedcorn process is designed to help great start-ups develop those compelling investment cases.
InterTradeIreland has supported more than 2,150 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process in previous years, with former finalists going on to secure more than €187m worth of new equity. Past winners from Northern Ireland include Catagen and Sophia Search from Belfast, who were overall winners and Jenarron Therapeutics, Dunmurray; See. Sense, Newtownards and Cirdan Imaging, Lisburn, who were regional winners.
Businesses can enter in one of the two categories; new start or early stage and there are four regions; Northern Ireland, Dublin (City & County), Munster, and Connacht & Leinster (including counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan).
Companies submit their application along with a visual representation of the business idea. Shortlisted companies are invited to submit a full business plan and, if successful, are invited to deliver an investment pitch in front of the judging panel comprising of venture capitalists, business angels and some of the island’s leading industry experts and entrepreneurs.
Throughout each stage of the competition, companies will be judged on various criteria including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for the business, the management team in place, and indeed the quality of the pitch to the judging panel. Feedback is provided to companies at each stage of the competition process.
InterTradeIreland is hosting a series of free workshops designed to guide those considering entering this year’s competition, including providing advice on preparation of video clips, presentation slide decks and business plans. Workshops are planned for Belfast on 22 April at Ulster University and NISP and in Derry~Londonderry on 30 April at NISP. More information on the workshops can be found on the InterTradeIreland website www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn
Follow the action
You can follow all the action throughout the 2015 competition by searching for and using #seedcorn and following @iti_seedcorn