Belfast Telegraph

Reap a fine reward with Seedcorn

By Amanda Poole

The final call has been made for fledgling Northern Ireland companies to enter InterTradeIreland’s annual Seedcorn competition.

A prize fund of €280,000 is available and involvement gives entrants access to experienced business people for advice about developing business ideas and making concepts attractive to investors.

Sean Gallagher, InterTradeIreland board member, ‘dragon’ in RTE’s Dragons Den and competition judge said InterTradeIreland was encouraging young companies from Northern Ireland in particular to enter because of the “unexploited potential in the region”.

Mr Gallagher said: “As well as the cash prize on offer, the competition offers an invaluable opportunity for companies to test and validate their business plan because it mimics the real-life investment process. The competition forces you to formalise and review your plan which, once documented, can be used for so many opportunities.”

Previous finalists of the competition have raised over £100m in equity. Northern Ireland winners include Media Lightbox, Learning Pool and Aetopia.

Last year’s winner of the best high-growth company was Belfast company Sophia Search. It secured £800,000 Business Angel Investment and opened its first |US offices.

Dave Patterson, managing director of Sophia Search, said he recommended the competition to other Northern Ireland companies.

“Don’t let the cash prize be your only motivation, but rather the fantastic opportunity to make your organisation even better and even more credible to potential investors.

“The judges were a combination of top investors and business people. They spent a considerable amount of time evaluating our business and for them to give us their vote of confidence over almost 250 other businesses was a fantastic achievement.”

The deadline for entries is September 17 at 1pm. For further details visit

Belfast Telegraph