Innovative start-ups to vie for €300k Seedcorn competition

Innovative young companies urged to enter Ireland’s biggest investor readiness competition, with a top cash prize of €100,000 up for grabs.

Innovative start-up and early-stage companies from across Ireland are being called on to enter Seedcorn, Ireland’s biggest investor readiness competition.

The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition, which has a top prize of €100,000, gives companies the opportunity to become investor ready with expert feedback on business plans and pitches as well as increased exposure to investors.

“Since its inception in 2003, Seedcorn has been instrumental to some of the island of Ireland’s biggest start-up success stories”

The largest business competition of its kind on the island of Ireland, Seedcorn boasts an overall prize fund of €300,000. 

For the second consecutive year, a €20,000 prize is also up for grabs for best investment proposal from a company operating in the low carbon/green sector.

Innovative Irish businesses

Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn programme manager at InterTradeIreland, welcomed entrants for this year’s competition.

“Since its inception in 2003, Seedcorn has been instrumental to some of the island of Ireland’s biggest start-up success stories”, Sweeney said.

“The benefits of entering go well beyond the cash prize. As well as competing for a share of the €300,000 prize fund, all entrants will win by accessing new investor networks, receiving invaluable feedback on their business plans and pitches from real-world investors, as well as boosting the profile of their business along the way.

“We are hosting a series of free information sharing sessions in the coming weeks to help companies with their entries, and I would encourage all innovative young businesses to embrace the opportunities that Seedcorn can provide.”

Previous winners have spanned a wide range of sectors, and hailed from across the island of Ireland. The overall winner of the 2021 Seedcorn competition was Cork-based med-tech firm, Gasgon Medical. The company manufactures AirVault, a device for removing air bubbles from flowing fluids aimed primarily at medical IV infusions, the most common invasive therapy in modern healthcare.

Gasgon Medical CEO Vincent Forde said the Seedcorn experience had been invaluable in boosting the company’s investor readiness.

“Being named Overall Winner was a huge honour for us, and the prize money has helped us grow our team as we move towards bringing our product to market.

“Crucially, Seedcorn also gave us incredible feedback on our proposals and business plan throughout the competition, which we were able to use to refine our pitches and secure additional funding from investors”, Forde said. “We have gained a lot from the Seedcorn experience, and any company seeking to boost their investor readiness will benefit from entering.”

Last year’s winner in the ‘Best New Start’ category was Waterford-based Tailr, previously known as STYL.wrap, picking up a cash prize of €50,000.

“Seedcorn was an amazing journey for us,” Shana Chu, Tailr CEO said. “The feedback we received throughout the competition was really valuable and helped us hone our business strategy and goals for the company. Seedcorn has opened up many doors for us, and I would encourage any ambitious start-up to enter this year’s competition.”

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

More information on these events and on how to enter the 2022 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition can be found at

The closing date for entries is 1pm 27 May 2022.

Main image at top (from left): Shana Chu, CEO, Tailr; Vincent Forde, CEO, Gasgon Medical; Connor Sweeney, InterTradeIreland.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.