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Further Seedcorn Competition Success for DkIT Start-Ups

01 February 2017

Gecko Governance won the New Start Category in InterTrade Ireland's 2016 Seedcorn competition and continue a successful record that clients of the Regional Development Centre in Dundalk Institute of Technology have in the competition. 

InterTrade Ireland's Seedcorn competition is now in its 14th year and with Shane Brett and Damien Cahill of Gecko Governance picking up the Overall New Start Category prize fund of €50,000 last month we thought it would be a good time to review all nine DkIT Enterprise Development Programme and Incubation client winners since the competition began in 2003.

2003 Michael Armstrong founder of Armac Systems won the Leinster Region in the very first Seedcorn competition. Michael was also a participant on the North East Enterprise Platform Programme delivered by Dundalk Institute of Technology. Today Armac Systems is at the forefront of new-generation, intelligent MRO inventory planning systems and solutions. With a strong focus on the aircraft MRO sector, the company has saved millions of Euros for aviation organizations to date. The company continues to be based in Drogheda, Co. Louth

Sean Gallagher and Derek Roddy founders of Smarthomes manufacturers of modular cabling and electrical solutions for the residential home market won the overall competition in 2004. Since winning Seedcorn Sean became one of the Dragons in the Irish version of Dragon's Den and Derek went on to found another Dundalk based company Climote.


Dundalk based Blueacre Technology won the Leinster Region category in 2006. Founded by Dr. David Gillen, Blueacre Technology develops integrated laser systems for medical device and electronic part manufacture. David completed the North East Enterprise Platform Programme in DkIT. 

2008 proved another good year for the Centre as Mcor Technologies won the overall competition. Founded by brothers Conor and Fintan MacCormack the company manufacturers 3D Printers from its current head quarters in Dunleer, Co. Louth. CMO Deirdre MacCormack was a participant on the North East EPP in DkIT. Since winning the competition Mcor has raised in the region of $16 million in VC funding and are on their 5th generation device with approximately 40 patents pending for future products. 

Barracuda FX was founded by Cavan based Kieran Fitzpatrick and became the overall competition winners in 2010.  Founded the previous year, Barracuda FX specialise in the design and development of enterprise class FX trading and risk management software solutions for the global banking industry. Kieran had completed an Enterprise Start programme in DkiT before participating in the North East EPP. Barracuda are now headquartered in the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) in Dublin.

John Delany founded the Oriel Sea Salt Company and won the Leinster and Connaught Region High Growth category in 2011. A serial entrepreneur, John participated on the North East EPP as he went about fund raising for Oriel which was established in 2010 to identify and develop an Eco Friendly and energy efficient means of extracting and harvesting the powerful Nutrients present in Sea Water. Based in Clogherhead, Co. Louth current produce a range of sea salt and mineral products.

Our first New Frontiers Programme Seedcorn winner was Yvonne Brady of EVB Sports. Yvonne won the Connaught and Leinster Region New Start Category in 2014. Based in Drogheda, Co. Louth, EVB Sport design and develop a range of sports shorts for women which provide additional support for the pelvic floor muscles and have built a loyal international customer base.

In 2015, Aphix Software were named “Best New Start company” at the Connacht & Leinster final of the 2015 all-island InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition. This followed their CTO Mark Reilly’s triumph at the regional finals the the IBYE in the start up category.

And finally to our most recent winner, Shane Brett founder of Gecko Governance. Gecko won the overall New Start category in November 2016. Based in the Regional Development Centre in DkIT, Shane also completed the New Frontiers Programme and set up GECKO Governance to develop a new RegTech fund management regulatory solution that allows users to schedule, manage and monitor a large portfolio of investment fund’s regulatory & compliance requirements in real-time.

I'm sure you will agree that there was quite a diverse range of business solutions and sectors supported by DkIT that found Seedcorn Competition success over the past 14 years. A run of success that we hope will continue long into the future.