Munster came out on top this year as three start-ups from the province won awards at the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition.
Medtech start-up Gasgon Medical has been named the overall winner of the 2021 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition, receiving a €100,000 cash prize.
The Seedcorn programme supports new and early-stage businesses from any sector across the island of Ireland. As well as a cash prize for finalists, all participants in the competition benefit from business planning workshops and mentorship support throughout the process.
Gasgon Medical is a Cork-based start-up that has designed AirVault, a device for removing air bubbles from fluids primarily in medical IV infusions. The product aims to remove the need for nurse intervention by automatically capturing air bubbles before they become a problem, and to deliver a more accurate infusion dose so patients are treated and recover faster.
“Seedcorn has given us incredible feedback on our pitch and our business plan, some of which we have implemented already, getting us additional funding from investors we are speaking with. This prize money will help us find the best people to grow our team as we move towards bringing our product to market,” said Gasgon Medical CEO Vincent Forde.
More wins for Munster start-ups
Another start-up honoured at the awards ceremony was Waterford-based Styl.Wrap, which won in the New Start category, earning a cash prize of €50,000.
The company uses AI to create a sizing tool for online fashion retailers. It has developed a cloud-based platform to reverse-engineer sizing and fit across the fashion supply chain in order to help retailers reduce waste and over-production.
This was Styl.Wrap’s third time entering the competition, and CEO Shana Chu said the feedback each year has helped the company to hone its business strategy and goals.
“Ireland has a buzzing start-up ecosystem that actively encourages innovation while offering strong support pillars in the form of investment, mentorship, programmes and so many opportunities,” Chu told SiliconRepublic.com last year.
Another Munster winner was Limerick-based AgriGuardian, which picked up a €10,000 Special Award for best venture stemming from a university spin-out or support programme.
The agritech start-up has developed a wearable device for farm safety and received an award earlier this year in the Limerick Institute of Technology’s New Frontiers Awards.
Congratulating the three winners, InterTradeIreland’s funding for growth manager, Shane O’Hanlon, said: “New start and early-stage businesses are vital to the economy, both north and south, and through Seedcorn we provide these high potential start-ups with support and guidance that will help develop their business propositions.
“By replicating the real-life investment process, we give these innovative young companies the opportunity to put their ideas to the test and ensure they are investor ready,” O’Hanlon added.
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