The ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Special Award’ given to local companies

Northern Ireland company GenoME Diagnostics has been named the Best New Start winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, pocketing a cash prize of €50,000 at the online awards ceremony.

Sonrai Analytics CEO Darragh McArt and team
Sonrai Analytics CEO Darragh McArt and team

Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for innovative new start and early stage businesses in any sector. Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,100 companies have been through the programme and finalists have raised in excess of €256m in equity funding.

Its aim is to support innovative new starts as well as early stage businesses from any sector or part of the island to become investor-ready. Participants also have the chance to benefit from business planning workshops and mentorship support throughout the competition.

Established in Belfast in 2020, GenoME Diagnostics are currently developing a novel blood test to detect an earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Their technology can be applied to biomarker discovery and development in a wide range of diseases and applications.

Commenting on their win, Shannon Beattie, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at GenoME Diagnostics said; “We are thrilled to be announced as the ‘New Start’ category winner this year as we were up against very stiff competition.

“The prize money will allow us to validate our ovarian cancer diagnostic and get it into clinics as quickly as possible. It will also provide us with the opportunity to increase our business visibility internationally through networking at tradeshows and conferences.”

The prestigious event also had a second victory for Northern Ireland with Sonrai Analytics winning a Special Award of €10,000 for the ‘Best Company stemming from a university spin-out or support programme’.

Belfast-based Sonrai Analytics is an innovative AI enabled technology company.

Their data-integration platform revolutionises precision medicine for Biotech and Pharma to accelerate discovery in diseases impacting lives today.

CEO and founder of Sonrai Analytics, Darragh McArt said: “We’re so grateful to have won the special award.

“The prize money will help to support new developments and bolster existing projects.

“We entered Seedcorn to gain constructive feedback on our business as well as raising our profile.

“Writing the business plan really helped us to refine our unique selling points and clarify our key product messages that we’re now using throughout our marketing. It has served as a great reminder of how far we’ve come in a short space of time.”

The Overall Winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Competition was NUA Surgical, who took home a notable prize of €100,000.

The medical start-up from Galway developed SteriCISION, a novel C-Section retractor that tackles the major unmet needs of the Caesarean Section (C-section).

Congratulating the winners, Ken Nelson MBE, InterTradeIreland Chairman said: “Seedcorn aims to nurture and promote the growth of new enterprises across the island of Ireland.

“After a difficult year, it’s extremely encouraging to see the wealth of enthusiasm, innovative thinking and ambition that these businesses – both North and South - bring to the table.

“On behalf of InterTradeIreland, I would like to congratulate NUA Surgical and GenoME Diagnostics on their overall win and Sonrai Analytics as the special award winner. We wish them success and prosperity in all of their future endeavours, I have no doubt that they are destined for greatness and look forward to following their journey.”

The Seedcorn competition will open again next March.

For further information on the Investor Readiness Competition visit www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn and follow on twitter @Inter_Trade #ITISeedcorn.

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