- Seedcorn competition Northern Ireland regional winners announced
Ballymena based Atlas Smart Technologies and Belfast firm SustainIQ have been named ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Best Early Stage’ company respectively at the Northern Ireland regional final of the 2022 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.
Both companies presented their investment proposal to a panel of judges that included active investors. The winners fought off tough competition to walk away with €20,000 each and a place in the overall Seedcorn final later this month.
Seedcorn is the biggest investor readiness competition on the island of Ireland for innovative new start and early stage businesses, with an overall prize fund of €300,000. The winners from each of the four regions will go head-to-head in Belfast on the 24th of November.
Atlas Smart Technologies picked up the ‘Best New Start’ Northern Ireland regional trophy. Founded in 2021 by students of Queen’s University Belfast, the Ballymena-based start up has developed the SmartBell, an adjustable smart dumbbell providing 26 different weight levels and Stronger Mobile, a workout app that has already been downloaded 30,000 times since its launch earlier this year.
Jack Fullerton, Chief Technology Officer at Atlas Smart Technologies says the Seedcorn experience has helped the firm refine its business strategy. “We are delighted to have been named ‘Best New Start’ in Northern Ireland and are looking forward to competing later this month,” Jack said. “The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition has provided the perfect avenue for us to practise our pitch in front of experienced investors and the feedback we have received will prove invaluable as we take the SmartBell concept to market.”
Belfast-based SustainIQ helps organisations measure, monitor and report their social, environmental and economic performance through an all-in-one ESG and sustainability software solution. Founded in 2017 by innovators from a sustainability background who saw a gap in the market for a tool to help companies use their sustainability performance to drive business improvement, SustainIQ is already operating at over 1,000 sites across the UK and Ireland.
“We’re thrilled to be awarded ‘Best Early Stage’ company in the Northern Ireland region and secure our place in the overall final,” said Liam McEvoy, Co-founder and Director at SustainIQ. “The InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition has been a great experience for us as we take the next step on our business journey to move into new markets, further develop our technology, and grow our team. The opportunity to further develop our business plan and pitch under the guidance of experts has been really beneficial as we work towards our next round of investment.”
Established in 2003, Seedcorn has helped in excess of 6,900 companies, giving entrants the opportunity to become investor ready, with expert feedback on business plans and pitches, and exposure to real life investors.
Congratulating Atlas Smart Technologies and SustainIQ, Shane O’Hanlon, Funding for Growth Manager at InterTradeIreland said:
“It’s a great achievement to win the regional final; the standard of entries from Northern Ireland this year has been particularly high. Both companies demonstrated innovation and passion – key components when judges are assessing the potential of a business. On behalf of all of us at InterTradeIreland, I wish both Atlas Smart Technologies and SustainIQ luck as they go on to compete against other jurisdictions in the competition’s overall final later this month.”