Galway company Advance Science, was named the Best Emerging Company in the Connacht and Leinster final of the 2011 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn all-island business competition. Advance Science, which is based in Connemara, beat tough competition from two other Connacht and Leinster finalists to win €20,000 to help finance the early stages of its ventures.
The company will now go on to compete in the all-island final of the competition, which will take place in Dublin on 30th November.
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 who have a new equity funding requirement, has a record prize fund of €280,000.
Advance Science is a scientific research company based in Connemara which has developed a natural technology using a unique scientific combination of ingredients. These ingredients are extracted via an exclusive process to enhance their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Advance Science is currently focusing on improving the health and sustainability of the global honey bee Industry. 30 per cent of the food we eat is pollinated by bees meaning pollination can be valued at €153 billion to the global food industry.
Beekeepers are seeing between 20 per cent and 80 per cent of stock being wiped out annually so Advance Science has developed an all natural product that addresses this recent loss.
Advance Science worked closely with Udaras na Gaeltachta, the Inagh Valley Trust and a number of scientists around the world including Dr Grace McCormack of NUI Galway in validation of this product. The product, Hive Alive, focuses specifically on a recently introduced pathogen that is strongly associated with the colony losses seen throughout the world. Hive Alive has the potential to reduce these losses significantly and ensure the pollination of our foodstuffs in the future.
Dara Scott, managing director, Advance Science said; “We are thrilled to have won the Connacht and Leinster final. This has been a very exciting and beneficial competition for us to be involved in. Seedcorn has given us the opportunity to test our business plan as well as getting invaluable feedback from some of the best business minds from around the country. At the moment everyone working for Advance Science is working pro bono but I am hoping to employ two people in 2012, building to 14 by 2016. We have substantial export plans for the next few years and being involved in Seedcorn has really helped us to move forward in terms of networking and seeking potential investors.”
Liam Nellis, chief executive, InterTradeIreland added; “The calibre of the finalist companies in the Connacht and Leinster final was second to none. The wealth of innovative thinking and creativity across the island of Ireland is extremely promising and we are delighted to be able to work with some of the best up-and-coming businesses in the crucial early stages. Congratulations to Advance Science for its worthy win. This is a company that is making innovative advancements in the research and development space.”
Advance Science will go head-to-head with the winners of the Northern Ireland, Dublin and Munster finals for the title of overall Best Emerging Company.
In addition, companies can also look forward to the benefits of being part of the Seedcorn network – an extensive business and investment community that will help to boost their profile, contacts and create future potential investment opportunities.
The all-island finals will take place in Dublin on 30th November, 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.
InterTradeIreland’s All-island Seedcorn Business competition, now in its ninth year, is the largest business competition on the island.
Previous finalists of the competition have gone on to secure more than €140 million worth of equity since taking part. Further details are available on www.intertradeireland.com/seedcorn