Loci Orthopaedics, based at NUI Galway, have been crowned the overall winner of the 2018 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, taking home a cash prize of €100,000 at the grand final held last weekend in Belfast.
The team at Loci Orthopaedics, a BioInnovate Ireland spin out located in the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, has developed an implant for the treatment of thumb base joint arthritis. The implant, InDx, is the first of its kind that fully re-creates the natural motions of the joint post implantation.
Commenting on their win, CEO and Co-Founder of Loci Orthopaedics, Brendan Boland, said: “It is an absolutely fantastic feeling to win the overall award at the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn 2018 final. The competition has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience, and we would like to thank the judges and organisers for the expert advice and constructive feedback provided along the way. The prize money will prove invaluable in supporting our orthopaedic joint implant ‘InDx’ at such a crucial stage in its development and will allow us to invest in securing additional personnel and provide further support for expansion.”
The other main winner on the night was HidraMed Solutions also based at NUI Galway, who won the Best New Start Category award and a cash prize of €50,000. HidraMed Solutions was one of the cohorts who completed the 2017-2018 BioExel MedTech Accelerator programme delivered by NUI Galway.
Hidramed Solutions has developed a unique wound care solution for people who suffer from Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), an inflammatory skin disease that causes draining lesions and non-healing wounds. Business founder, Suzanne Moloney is a HS patient and has spent 5 years researching and developing the product.
CEO and Founder of Hidramed Solutions, Suzanne Moloney, NUI Galway, said: “We are thrilled to win the Best New Start Category Award, it is a real honour. The €50,000 cash prize will help us take our proposition to the next level and the entire Seedcorn process has offered us a platform to refine our business plan and our company offering, which has been a hugely beneficial experience for us.”
Now in its 16th year, Seedcorn is Ireland’s biggest business competition for innovative new start and early stage businesses in any sector, from any part of the island. As well as a substantial cash prize fund, participants benefit from promotional, business planning workshops and mentorship support throughout the competition.
Congratulating the winners, Ken Nelson MBE, InterTradeIreland Chairman, said: “Seedcorn recognises and nurtures entrepreneurship, innovation and new ventures, and provides young companies – who are at a critical stage of their development – the opportunity to really put their proposition to the test. The quality of the business plans throughout the competition has been of an extremely high standard, and this year’s participants are testament to the innovation and entrepreneurial excellence of small businesses, North and South. I would like to congratulate Loci Orthopaedics and Hidramed Solutions and wish them every success in the future. We look forward to watching our 2018 winners grow and will be following their development with a keen eye.”
To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 2,300 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With €238 million in new equity being raised by the companies which have reached the regional finals stage of the Seedcorn competition over the past 16 years, the competition has a strong track record of supporting early business start-ups to become investor ready.