Yedup Ltd and Liopa Ltd, both based in Belfast, are the Northern Ireland regional winners of InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, securing €20,000 each. The firms now go forward to compete with six other regional finalists at the all-island final of the competition, taking place on 23 November.
Best New Start Regional Winner
Yedup was crowned best regional new start company. The company is a leader in the emerging field of ‘adaptive’ artificial intelligence, having developed machines that, like humans, learn continuously in real time. Yedup’s technology analyses big data streams – such as live and evolving social media content – faster and more accurately than is possible with standard artificial intelligence techniques.
Best Early Stage Regional Winner
Liopa, a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), was named best regional early stage company. Liopa is a leading independent provider of biometric authentication and verification technology, having commercialised more than 10 years of research in the field of speech and image processing; with particular focus on the fusion of speech and lip movements for robust speech/speaker recognition in real world environments.
Journey to Regional Success
Yedup and Liopa overcame tough competition to secure the regional prizes of €20,000 apiece. Every Northern Ireland finalist demonstrated excellent creativity and business prowess with InterTradeIreland confident that each business will achieve future success.
The two regional winners, Yedup and Liopa, will compete in the all-island final of Seedcorn, against the Dublin, Munster and Connacht & Leinster finalists. This will take place on Wednesday 23 November at The Waterfront Hall, Belfast with the companies competing for the titles of Best Category winner, worth €50,000 and the Overall Winner, worth €100,000.
Now in its 14th 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 which have a new equity funding requirement, has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000, with no equity stake taken. It is seen as a great platform for fledgling companies to perfect their business plan and strategies, as well as to network with potential investors. Since its inception in 2003, companies that have gone through Seedcorn and reached regional final level, have leveraged in excess of €220m. Encouragingly, so far for last year alone, this figure stands at more than €10 million.
Follow the Competition
Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts. Further details are also available on the Seedcorn website at www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn