Ocean Survivor was named the Overall Winner of InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition, winning a cash prize of €100,000 at the grand final held recently at Clontarf Castle. The other main winner was Dublin company, SiriusXT who won the Best Early Stage Company Category award and a cash prize of €50,000.
About the competition
The Seedcorn competition is the island’s biggest business competition for new start and early stage companies and is aimed at companies with a new funding requirement. It has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000, and does not involve taking any equity stake.
The Seedcorn competition imitates the real life investment process providing companies with the opportunity to put their business idea to the test and to ensure that it is investor- ready and stands up to external scrutiny.
About Ocean Survivor
Overall winner, Ocean Survivor, is based at the University of Limerick. The company manufactures a range of safety equipment aimed primarily at the off-shore oil industry. Ocean Survivor is currently developing a simple to use technology that mitigates the effects of hypothermia, while promoting comfort and mental well-being in a survival situation.
Following its win, Ocean Survivor plans to invest the prize money in securing the necessary trials, standards and personnel required to bring its product to market as soon as possible.
Best Early Stage Conmpany winner, University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out, SiriusXT, has spent eight years developing the technology for its soft x-ray microscope called SXT. SXT is the first soft x-ray microscope of its kind in the world; it is a benchtop system that allows researchers to produce images in their own labs. Their product takes a powerful laser to make a little fireball as hot as the centre of the sun and about a tenth of the width of a human hair in diameter. This fireball produces a kind of light that allows them to illuminate single cells or tissue samples and produce beautiful 3D images of cells that cannot be produced any other way.
The images reveal in unprecedented detail the inner workings of life, drugs and disease on a cellular scale. The light sources that have been used to pioneer the technique are the size of a football stadium and cost over €250 million. Their light source will fit on a small table, and will let disease and drug researchers see changes in cells with a tool they can easily fit into their microscopy labs.
Success for Regional Finalists
Six additional companies walked away from the competition with a €20,000 cash prize, after they were recognised as the regional winners in the Best Early Stage Company and Best New Start Company categories. These were KillBiller, Aphix Software, Kong Digital and Rendicity, which are based in Ireland and Northern Ireland companies, Modern Democracy and Photonics Measurements.
To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 2,151 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With €197 million in new equity being raised by the companies who have reached the regional finals stage of the Seedcorn competition over the past 12 years, the competition has a strong track record of supporting early business start-ups to become investor ready.
Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn.