NI start ups encouraged to ‘Win Big’ as €300,000 Seedcorn competition launches

NI start ups encouraged to ‘Win Big’ as €300,000 Seedcorn competition launches
Pictured at the launch of the 2022 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition are Shane O’Hanlon, Funding for Growth Manager, InterTradeIreland and 2021 NI regional winner Anthony Farrell, Owner, Cocktail Keg Company

Innovative start-up and early-stage companies from across Northern Ireland are being called on to enter 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. 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.

Shane O’Hanlon, Funding for Growth Manager at InterTradeIreland, welcomed entrants for this year’s competition.

“Since Seedcorn’s inception in 2003, the competition has been instrumental to some of the biggest start-up success stories on this island,” he 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 expert feedback on their business plans and pitches from real-world investors, as well as boosting the profile of their business in the process.

“We are hosting a series of free information sharing sessions in the coming weeks to help companies with their entries, and I would urge innovative start-up and early stage companies to enter and embrace the opportunities that Seedcorn can provide.”

In 2021, Belfast-based Cocktail Keg Company Ltd were named ‘Best New Start’ for the Northern Ireland region, collecting a €20,000 cash prize. Anthony Farrell, Owner and Co-founder of Cocktail Keg Company said the competition has given the company the opportunity to further grow and explore new ideas.

“Winning the NI ‘Best New Start company’ award was an important milestone for us, and the prize money has facilitated further investment in infrastructure, training and marketing”, Anthony Farrell said. “But beyond the cash prize, it was the guidance from experts along the way that really proved invaluable in improving our investor readiness as we continue to grow. We gained a lot from the whole Seedcorn experience, and any start-up seeking to get investor ready will benefit from entering.”

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 27th May 2022.