Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector on any part of the island.
The competition, aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000 and also offers budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to:
- Develop your business idea
- Improve your business plan
- Make your concept investor ready
- Gain exposure to venture capitalists and other equity providers
- Increase the profile of your business
The judges are looking for the same elements as a potential investor including:
- High growth companies
- The optimum risk/reward profile
- A strong management team
- Ability to exit
Full details of the selection criteria are available when you register at www.seedcorncompetition.com.
Who Can Enter?
The competition is open to independent ventures to be incorporated in Ireland or Northern Ireland in the seed, start-up or early stages of their development. Entrants should have started, manage and own such a venture.
All business plans submitted must demonstrate a minimum equity funding requirement of €75,000/£55,000. Business plans which fail to demonstrate this may be deemed ineligible. Ventures which have already raised private equity of more than €1m/$740,000 are not eligible.
Emerging International Company
For companies which have not been in existence for more than five years at Friday 26 September 2008. Companies with substantial sales targets are eligible to enter this category. ‘Substantial sales targets’ means cumulative projected sales In excess of €5m/£3.7m by year 3, 4 or 5. These sales targets must be shown in the financial projections.
For companies which have not been in existence for more than three years at Friday 26 September 2008. Companies with sales targets of less then €5m/£3.7m by year 3, 4 or 5 are eligible to enter this category. These sales targets must be shown in the financial projections.
The overall winners will receive a prize payable by instalments, based in achieving key performance indicators in the business plan of €100,000 (for the winner of the Emerging International Company category) and €50,000 (for the winner of the Emerging Company category) to finance the early stages of the venture.
Six regional winners will each receive €20,000 to finance the early stages of their ventures. There is also an award of €10,000 for the best venture stemming from university spinouts and platform programmes.
After the closing date of Friday 26 September 2008, all business plans will be grouped into the region and category they have entered. The four regions (with two categories in each) are as follows:
1. Dublin (city and county)
2. Northern Ireland
4. Connacht & Leinster*
- includes counties Cavan, Monaghan & Donegal and excludes Dublin
The competition aims to recreate the investment process. Following the scoring of written business plans submitted, the top plans from each region and category will be selected. In November 2008 the selected entrants will be invited to make their investment pitch to a panel of judges followed by a question and answer session.
On this basis, 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 27 November 2008. The panel will select the All-island winner in each category.
How To Enter
Register for the competition online at www.seedcorncompetition.com by 1pm on Friday 26 September 2008 or telephone 028 3083 4151 to obtain a registration form in print.
Help and Advice
The website contains advice on preparing a business plan for a potential investor along with links to other useful resources. Competition updates will also be posted on the site. Visit www.seedcorncompetition.com to find out more.