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Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition


InterTradeIreland is providing new and early-stage businesses with the opportunity to become investor ready and compete for a total cash prize fund of €280,000 through their All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, the closing date for entries is Friday 30th May.  The competition, which supports start-ups and early stage companies, offers a share of the cash prize with no equity stake taken in the winning company.

The competition is open to all independent companies incorporated in Ireland or Northern Ireland in the seed, start-up or early stages of business development and ideally targeting international markets.

Encouraging Irish start-up and early stage companies to enter before the deadline, Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn project manager for InterTradeIreland said: “We are at a critical point in the SME sector; we have many SMEs who want to scale their business but they may not be equipped to explore the broad financing options open to them. The Seedcorn competition not only provides companies with the opportunity to win a cash prize but also provides them with the opportunity to refine their business plan, gain exposure to investors and improve their business concept.

All plans submitted through the competition receive detailed evaluation and feedback from members of an experienced judging panel.  This in itself is an invaluable benefit and can help companies to move on to the next stage, whether that is to attract investment or to develop other growth strategies.”

Winners of Best ‘Early Stage’ Company and Best ‘New Start’ Company stand to win €100,000 and €50,000 respectively.  There are also regional prizes of €20,000 and one Best Spinout prize of €10,000.

Whilst the cash prize is an attractive incentive for businesses to enter, previous finalists have gone on to leverage more than €179 million worth of additional equity since taking part in the competition, highlighting the major longer-term benefits associated with being part of the Seedcorn Competition process.

“Taking part in any of the Seedcorn regional finals alone can boost the profile of a business and signal to potential investors that your company is ‘one to watch’.  I would encourage young Irish companies who meet the criteria to submit their entries before the closing date and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” Connor Sweeney concluded.

Companies can get involved with InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition by registering at and by following the competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) or on LinkedIn (Seedcorn Network) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts.

The final date for receipt of initial completed application forms and visual representations is Friday 30th May but companies must first register their interest in entering at

Regional winners will be announced in mid November before going on to compete in the all-island grand final which takes place in Belfast on the 26th November 2014.

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