InterTradeIreland 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. The organisation’s aim is to help expedite trade and business growth across the island and create an environment where it is easier to do business.
They support SMEs across the island to identify and develop North/South trade and innovation opportunities through business programmes, research and statistics and networks and partnerships. 25,000 SMEs have benefited from cross-border information, 5,000 have taken part in the all-island programmes, £650 million worth of trade and business development has been generated and 3,000 new jobs created
InterTradeIreland’s All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is open to all young innovative companies with great business ideas. The prize is a share of €280,000. This is an opportunity for young businesses to refine their ideas with expert help and then, if it impresses investors, the company could win a share of the prize.
The closing date for this year’s competition is this Friday, 28 June. This year’s competition has a two stage application process: 1. Initial application form describing the business and 2. Visual representation of the business idea. This can either be a short video clip or a slide show presentation or both.
The Seedcorn competition mirrors the real life investment process and can greatly improve a business’s ability to attract investment by helping the business become investor ready. The competition is aimed at early and new start companies that have a new equity funding requirement.
There are nine cash prizes up for grabs and entrepreneurs compete against each other regionally before competing for the all-island Best Early Stage and Best New Start Company titles. Every business idea submitted is reviewed by investment experts and companies are given individual feedback. Short-listed companies also get a unique opportunity to pitch to investors and business leaders. See www.intertradeireland.com/news.
Someone who is no stranger to becoming investor ready etc is James Murphy of Lifes2good. Headquartered in Galway, the company markets and distributes a portfolio of natural healthcare brands across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.
James and Lifes2good are finalists in this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the International category. The company has an annual turnover of €26 million and products listed in 25 countries. It hopes to have a business generating revenues of €70 million by 2015. This is entrepreneurship at its best. Galway Chamber wishes James well in the competition.