Dublin based Not Just a Princess and Frequency Communications have been crowned ‘Best New Start’ company and ‘Best Early Stage’ company respectively at the Belfast regional final of the 2021 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.
Both companies fought off tough competition having delivered an investment pitch via video conference in front of an expert judging panel.
Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for innovative new start and early stage businesses in any sector. The winners from each of the four regions will go onto compete in the all-island final later in the month where the overall ‘Best New Start’ and ‘Best Early Stage’ companies will be announced winning €50,000 each, and ultimately the ‘Overall Winner’ will pocket €100,000 to contribute to their business growth.
Founded in 2017 by Gavin Leonard, Not Just a Princess creates books around female empowerment with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The company aims to turn the books into a series of 52 x 11 minute episodes of the “Not Just a Princess” animated TV series for a pre-school audience.
Commenting on their win, Gavin Leonard, Creator and Producer said: “Winning ‘Best New Start’ company at the Dublin Regional final is a great success for us. The prize money will help us produce the title sequence for our animated series. Throughout the competition we have learned to look at our business through the eyes of investors, Seedcorn helped us revise our business plan and we now feel more confident pitching our idea to potential investors. We work in the industry of storytelling, yet Seedcorn has helped us to tell our own business story in a more coherent manner.”
Founded in 2018 by three airline pilots, Justin Perry (CEO), Darach O Comhrai (COO) and Kris Vansteenkiste (CTO), Frequency is a communication and collaboration platform for aviation. The system works in real time, ensuring all the necessary parties can access the right information at the right time allowing them to work together to resolve any issues to improve safety and operational efficiency.
Justin Perry, CEO said: “We are delighted to win ‘Best Early stage’ company at the Dublin regional final and progress to the next stage of the competition. We entered Seedcorn to help us get investor ready – the process helped us to refine and update our business plan, improve our presentation and make sure we have a clear, simple message. We have refined our value proposition and our pitch for customers and investors alike and learned how to adapt our messaging specifically for an investor pitch.”
Since the competition’s inception in 2003, more than 3,100 companies have been through the programme and finalists have raised in excess of €276m in equity funding, emphasising Seedcorn’s position as the premier competition for high growth start-up companies on the island.
Congratulating both companies, Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Programme Manager at InterTradeIreland said: “It’s a great achievement to win the regional final, the standard of entries from Dublin this year has been particularly high. Congratulations to Not Just a Princess and Frequency, they demonstrated innovation, confidence and enormous drive – all of which the judges look for when assessing the potential and longevity of a business. On behalf of InterTradeIreland, I wish them the best of luck in the competition’s overall final which takes place on November 25th.”
Frequency at InterTradeIreland