InterTradeIreland reveals €300k competition

InterTradeIreland is calling for applications to this year’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition, including a Low Carbon Award for the first time.

InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition, which it claims is the largest business competition of its kind on the island of Ireland, is offering start-up and early stage companies a total cash prize fund of €300,000.

This year, a new Low Carbon Award is also up for grabs, with a €20,000 prize for the best investment proposal from a firm operating in the low carbon or green sector.

“Since its inception in 2003, regional finalists have gone on to secure in excess of €270m in new equity funding”

Welcoming entrants for this year’s competition, InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Programme manager Connor Sweeney says the journey can be as rewarding as the end result for many of the participants.

“The 2021 Seedcorn competition is particularly important as we appreciate the challenges start-ups and early stage companies have been under over the past year.

“As well as the significant prize fund on offer, the process is an ideal opportunity for up-and-coming companies and future leaders across Ireland to develop their business plans, networking and pitching skills, while learning how best to attract potential investors and raise equity.”

“We felt it was important to add a low carbon category to the competition, reflecting the growth in early stage companies which aim to develop clean or alternative energy technologies. We are looking forward to seeing the talent on offer from this year’s competitors – the competition is straightforward to enter and since its inception in 2003, regional finalists have gone on to secure in excess of €270m in new equity funding.”

The closing date for entries is 1pm Friday 28 May 2021. To apply visit

Regional heats of Seedcorn competition

Early stage and start-up companies can enter the regional heat in their area – Dublin (city and county), Munster and Connacht and Leinster (including counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) and Northern Ireland.

Previous Seedcorn winners hail from across the island of Ireland and represent a wide variety of sectors. They include Barracuda FX Dublin, Loci Orthopaedics Galway, Valitacell Dublin, ALR Innovations Limerick and Epona Biotech/Stablelab Sligo.

Last year, Galway’s NUA Surgical, who have created a medical device to aid Caesarean deliveries, took the top prize of €100,00 last year and credit the competition for helping the business become investor ready.

“Our success in Seedcorn was great validation of our investment opportunity. It demonstrated that we were investor ready and was another steppingstone in bringing the device to market, where we can really make a difference in women’s health,” said NUA Surgical CEO Barry McCann.

Over the coming weeks, InterTradeIreland will host a series of free online information sessions, designed to guide those considering entering this year’s competition, including providing advice on preparation of video clips, presentation slide decks and business plans.

By John Kennedy (

Published: 4 May 2021