Valitacell wins InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition

Dr Terry McWade, Valitacell
Dr Terry McWade, Valitacell

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24 November 2016 | 0

Dublin biotech company, Valitacell, was crowned the overall winner of the 14th annual InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition which is the island’s biggest business competition for new start and early stage companies. Valitacell won a cash prize of €100,000 at the grand final held at The Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

This year’s competition generated a lot of interest and attracted over 300 applications from new start and early stage companies from across the island from sectors such as pharma, ICT, energy, software/apps, biometrics and even waste management.

Valitacell, based in Dublin, provides analytical support for the biopharmaceutical sector. It helps companies to improve the efficiency and performance of a cell development process that is crucial in the manufacture of monoclonal antibody drugs. These products are accelerating the delivery of high-tech, expensive modern drugs to patients who need them but currently do not have access to them.

Dr Terry McWade, CEO, Valitacell (pictured), said: “This competition has taught the whole team a lot and allowed us to refine many aspects of our business. We developed an improved business plan that helped us to refine our message and strategy for investors. The emphasis that we have put on communications and messaging means we can make our offering more understood to businesses and customers that do not have a technical or scientific background.”

Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO, InterTradeIreland, said: “The Seedcorn competition is all about supporting and promoting the growth of new start companies on the island of Ireland. These companies are vital for stimulating growth in the economy, not only by creating jobs but also for developing new and innovative solutions to everyday problems and improving people’s lives across the world.

“These companies need nurturing from an early stage and need access to the support that will allow them to build on their success. InterTradeIreland is proud of our work with these companies and we will continue to support them through our Funding for Growth initiatives. ”

The competition is aimed at companies who have a new equity funding requirement and has a total cash prize fund of €280,000, with no equity stake.

Since it started in 2003, the 2,151 companies that have gone through the competition have raised in excess of €220 million, €10 million of which last year alone.

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