Belfast Telegraph

All Island Seedcorn competition offering record cash prize fund of €280k for new and early stage companies

Jumpack Ltd was named the Northern Ireland regional winner for Best New Start Company in 2018, winning €20,000 to help finance the early stages of the venture. Pictured are Michael Crowe and Philip McIntosh, Jumpack Ltd.
Jumpack Ltd was named the Northern Ireland regional winner for Best New Start Company in 2018, winning €20,000 to help finance the early stages of the venture. Pictured are Michael Crowe and Philip McIntosh, Jumpack Ltd.

The competition is the largest investor readiness competition for companies in any sector in Northern Ireland or Ireland in the Seed, Start-up or Early Stage of business development.

The Seedcorn competition, aimed at companies that have a new equity funding requirement, has a record total cash prize fund of €280,000.

By taking part, previous Seedcorn finalists have attracted millions of euros worth of new equity funding.

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In the 2018 competition, Downpatrick-based Jumpack Ltd was named the Northern Ireland regional winner for Best New Start Company, fighting off tough competition to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of the venture.

Jumpack sells the world’s first portable extreme sports ramp for use with skateboards, BMXs, mountain bikes, scooters and snowboards.

Company founders, Phil McIntosh, ex-Northern Ireland BMX and Downhill Mountain Bike Champion and Mike Crowe, former All-Ireland Champion in Downhill Mountain Biking, entered the Seedcorn competition as they believe their product, which has already been adopted by some of the world’s top athletes, has the potential to transform the extreme sports industry.

Jumpack Co-founder Phil McIntosh said:

The competition helped us gain a greater understanding of what investors expect with regards to the most effective business plan format and the information that should be included. The prize money will help us with our marketing campaigns and enable us to employ a dedicated digital marketing expert.

The competition offers budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to:

  • Develop and improve their business plan/idea
  • Make their concept investor ready
  • Gain exposure to venture capitalists & other equity providers
  • Increase the profile of their business

Who can enter?

The competition is open to independent incorporated ventures in Ireland or Northern Ireland in the Seed, Start-up or Early Stage of business development and ideally targeting international markets.

The Prizes

  1. €100,000 Overall Winner
  2. €50,000 Category Winner
  3. €20,000 Regional Winners (x6)
  4. €10,000 awarded for the best venture stemming from a University spinout or a recognised support programme.

Categories

  • New Start Company : For companies under five years old at 31 May 2019 and who are seeking to raise new equity of between €50,000 and €299,999.
     
  • Early Stage Company : For companies under five years old at 31 May 2019 and who are seeking to raise more than €300,000.

Selection Process

The competition will be run on a staged basis with shortlisted companies being progressively invited to submit information to the next stage.

An initial assessment panel will review all information supplied and draw up a shortlist of companies who will be invited to the next stage of the competition.

Shortlisted companies will be invited to submit a full business plan which must be uploaded by Friday 30 August 2019 at 13:00.

Following the scoring of written business plans submitted, the top plans from each region and category will be selected. In November 2019, the selected entrants will be invited to make their investment pitch to a panel of judges, followed by a question and answer session. Regional winners will be selected for each of the two categories in each of the four regions. These eight will be asked to make their pitch again to a separate panel of judges at the final on Thursday 28 November 2019. The panel will select the all-island winner in each of the two categories and from these two, the overall winner.

Applications for the Seedcorn 2019 competition close on May 31st.

Full details of the selection criteria are available when you register at www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn and you can follow all the action throughout the competition by searching for and using #ITIseedcorn and following @iti_seedcorn

InterTradeIreland is a cross-border trade and business development body funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland. It is the only organisation which has been given responsibility by both governments to boost north/south economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

InterTradeIreland supports businesses through innovation and trade initiatives to take advantage of co-operative opportunities improving capability, driving competitiveness, economic growth and job creation.

 

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