Two Galway companies, Full Health Medical and Algae Health were named the Best Emerging and the Best High Growth companies respectively in the Connacht and Leinster final of the 2012 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn all-island business competition.
Full Health Medical which is based in the Business Innovation Centre of the National University of Ireland Galway and Algae Health which is based in Claregalway both beat tough competition from the other Connacht and Leinster finalists in each of their categories to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of their ventures. The companies will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place on Nov 28 at the iconic Titanic Belfast building.
Now in its 10th year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for early stage/high growth companies in any sector, from any part of the island. The competition, aimed at companies which have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000. To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 1,600 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process and previous finalists have gone on to leverage around €159m worth of equity since taking part. The Seedcorn competition is considered an important barometer for new and emerging companies among the investment and business communities.
Full Health Medical has designed a system that addresses one of the most basic deficits in healthcare – the meaningful communication of test results in the context of a person’s own history and lifestyle. Developed over three years by a team led by GP and A&E doctor Ann Shortt, the Full Health system uses a series of clinical algorithms and combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the examinations and test results to generate a personalised report for the doctor’s approval. The results are then presented in an easily understandable format, complete with recommendations and advice for the patient. This system offers doctors a huge saving of time and expense, and allows a doctor to provide a better service to significantly more patients.
Paul McCarthy, Managing Director of Full Health Medical said; “We are thrilled to have won the Connacht and Leinster Emerging Category award and we’re going to put all of our efforts into the national final at the end of this month. Seedcorn is such a recognised competition so to win this accolade is a great milestone for us. After years of extensive development and testing, winning the Seedcorn regional final really validates the hard work that our team has put into the company. Although we have already secured a number of key contracts, it is only now we are launching for the wider primary care and corporate health market.”
Algae Health is an innovative bio-technology company that has developed and patented an environmentally friendly and sustainable technology for the cultivation of microalgae. These microalgae products are used in nutritional supplements, cosmetics, natural food additives and also in pharmaceutical products. Algae Health already has a number of large global customers as well as a distributor base for its products.
Edward McHugh, managing director of Algae Health said; “We have spent the last three years developing and validating our technology and we are now at a point of bringing this technology to commercialisation. Winning the Connacht and Leinster High Growth Category has been a major boost for the company both financially and in terms of credibility in helping us secure commercialisation funding. We eagerly await the opportunity to compete at the national final in Belfast.”
Thomas Hunter McGowan, Chief Executive, InterTradeIreland added; “It is inspiring to see the level of innovative thinking, determination and optimism for the future displayed by businesses coming through this process. These companies have the potential to be a key driver of future economic growth. The Seedcorn competition reaches out to businesses at the early stages in their development and it is exciting for InterTradeIreland to work with these companies at such a crucial stage of their business. The quality of companies in the Connacht and Leinster final was outstanding and I congratulate both Full Health Medical and Algae Health on their wins today from these very competitive fields.”
Full Health Medical and Algae Health will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Munster finals for the title of overall Best Emerging and Best High Growth companies respectively.
Finalist companies also benefit from being part of the Seedcorn Network – an extensive business and investment community that helps boost their profile, contacts and future potential investment opportunities.
The all-island finals will take place at the Titanic Belfast building on November 28, where companies are in with a chance to compete for the overall ‘Best Emerging Company’ prize worth €50,000 or the overall ‘Best High Growth Company’ prize worth €100,000.
Previous finalists have included companies from sectors including technology, online, medical devices, green tech solutions, healthcare solutions and consumer products. Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn
Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice.