Valitacell win InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Competition
Dublin biotech company, Valitacell, was crowned the overall winner of the 14th annual InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition on Wednesday, 23 November. Valitacell won a cash prize of €100,000 at the grand final held at The Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Dundalk based Gecko Governance who won the Best Early Stage Company Category award and a cash prize of €50,000. The winners were announced at the grand final of the competition which was attended by over 200 guests.
This year’s competition attracted over 300 applications from new start and early stage companies from across the island from sectors such as Pharma, ICT, Energy, Software/Apps, Biometrics and waste management.
Valitacell based in Pembroke Street and with its lab in the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, Blackrock provides analytical support for the biopharmaceutical sector. It helps companies to improve the efficiency and performance of a cell development process that is crucial in the manufacture of monoclonal antibody drugs.
CEO of Valitacell Dr. Terry McWade said “this competition has taught the whole team a lot and allowed us to refine many aspects of our business. We developed an improved business plan that helped us to refine our message and strategy for investors. The emphasis that we have put on communications and messaging means we can make our offering more understood to businesses and customers that do not have a technical or scientific background.”
Dundalk-based Gecko Governance makes regulation technology for the global finance industry that allows fund managers to monitor and manage their regulation and compliance requirements. Gecko Governance allows for greater strategy potential and corporate planning by providing fund managers with a live oversight of all the funds regulation and compliance requirements – which funds are on schedule and which are behind, which compliance tasks are outstanding and which have been completed.
Founder and CEO of Gecko Governance Shane Brett said “The Seedcorn process helped us build our business plan which was a lot of work but very rewarding in terms of ending with an investor ready business plan in great shape. The level of detailed business plan feedback really helped us bring the plan to the next level. We have learned the importance of providing investors with a properly structured and articulated business plan with clear credible goals and realistic assumptions of our future business strategy. We will use the prize money to accelerate our expansion plans – specifically in rolling out our London office later this year.”
The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition is aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement and has a total cash prize fund of €280,000, with no equity stake. Since it started in 2003, the 2,151 companies that have gone through the competition have raised in excess of €220m – last year alone, in excess of €10m was raised.