Deadline For InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition

New or early-stage businesses from across Northern Ireland are today being urged to enter the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition before the deadline on 28 June 2013.

The competition, now in its 11th year, offers a cash prize fund of €280,000 and provides the opportunity for firms to refine their business plan, gain exposure to investors and improve their business concept.

Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn project manager for InterTradeIreland, explained: “This year we have introduced a simplified entry format for the Competition and divided it into various stages but this does mean that the initial deadline is sooner than usual, 28 June 2013.

“However, the first phase really is simple and all companies have to do is to submit a short online application form answering 12 straightforward questions.

“Following that, firms will also have to upload a visual representation of their business idea which could be a short video, a presentation or both. Those selected to go through to the next stage will be invited to submit their full business plan by 11 September.”

Following scoring of all business plans, the top three ‘New Start’ and the top three ‘Early Stage’ companies in each of the four regions will be invited to present at their regional final.

Prior to the pitch, all 24 regional finalists will be invited to avail of a day-long, intensive investment pitch masterclass to refine, hone and perfect their presentation skills.

Firms will deliver their pitch in front of a judging panel comprising venture capitalists, business angels and some of the island’s leading industry experts.

The judges are looking for the same elements as a potential investor including high growth projections, the optimum risk/reward profile, a strong management team and the ability to exit.

Connor added: “Local businesses have been very successful in the competition to date. Last year, Catagen from Belfast beat off competition from across the island and was named as the overall ‘Best High Growth Company’ winner. I would urge all young companies to apply as soon as possible.

“One of the key benefits for successful applicants is that all plans submitted will receive detailed evaluation and feedback from members of our experienced judging panel. This in itself is an invaluable benefit and can help companies take their business to the next level, whether that is to attract investment or to develop other growth strategies.”

Over the last decade, InterTradeIreland has supported more than 1,650 enterprising businesses through the Seedcorn Competition process. During that time, companies that reached regional final level have gone on to raise more than €165m of new equity.

This year’s Competition is open to incorporated entities on the island of Ireland which are less than five years old at 28 June 2013. There are two categories for the 2013 competition – New Start Companies, which are deemed to be those who are seeking to raise between €50,000 and €299,999 and Early Stage Companies, deemed to be those who are seeking to raise in excess of €300,000.

Companies can find out more information on the application process by visiting where there are also video tutorials to guide you through the process. You can also follow the competition on Twitter @ITI_Seedcorn or join the Seedcorn Network on LinkedIn where businesses can get valuable information and advice from experts.