Two Dublin-based companies will go on to the national finals of the Seedcorn competition, which will take place on 28 November.
On Thursday (14 November), InterTradeIreland announced the winners of the Dublin regional final of its Seedcorn investor readiness competition. The winners were each awarded €20,000 from a €280,000 prize fund.
University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out Output Sports was awarded the prize for best early-stage company, while Thriftify took home the award for best new start-up.
Winners from each of the four regions across Ireland will go on to compete in the all-island final in Dublin on 28 November, and the national winners in these two categories will be awarded a further €50,000 each. The overall winner of the competition will take home a total prize of €100,000.
Headquartered at NovaUCD, Output Sports shrinks lab-grade athlete performance analytics into a wearable system so coaches can understand athletes and optimise their performance.
It was founded by Dr Martin O’Reilly, Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Prof Brian Caulfield, based on research they carried out at the SFI Insight Centre for Data Analytics at UCD.
Whelan described the win as “a great achievement”. “Our prototypes will have been used by over 30 professional teams including international and premier league football teams, professional rugby organisations and Olympic athletes by the end of the year,” he added.
“The prize money will help accelerate the commercialisation process of the company –initially we aim to expand the team and accelerate growth in Europe and the US.”
Co-founder and CEO O’Reilly said it is “a privilege” to receive the award and that the start-up is looking forward to the national final at the end of this month. Earlier this year, the company received the Best Business Idea award at the final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019, representing the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Local Enterprise Office.
The other winner in the regional final, Thriftify, is an e-commerce platform that enables charity shops to place their inventory online and receive donations. It was founded by Rónán Ó Dálaigh, Rahil Nazir and Timur Negru.
Ó Dálaigh said the team was “delighted to be chosen” in the Dublin final.
“To date our customers have put over 500,000 donations through Thriftify and with this data we estimate the charity retail sector can be transformed from a €2bn bricks-and-mortar-based market to a €20bn e-commerce-based one. We plan to use the prize money on direct marketing to help raise our profile, as well as invest in our operational capacities.”
Since the beginning of November, Seedcorn has been announcing regional winners in the competition. In Connaught and Leinster’s regional competition, the winners were Atlantic Photonic Solutions for its fish-friendly light that aims to remove sea lice from farmed salmon, and Venari Medical for its treatment for chronic venous disease.
In the Munster region, regulatory compliance software company Miura Regtech won best new start-up and patient tracking system Tracworx won best early-stage company.
Seedcorn has yet to announce the winners in the Northern Ireland regional competition. You can see a full list of the regional finalists here.