Barracuda FX has been named as the Best High Growth Company at InterTradeIreland’s 8th annual All-island Seedcorn Business Competition, the largest business competition on the island which took place in Belfast on 24th November. Dublin-based Barracuda FX has won the overall prize of €100,000 and Epona Biotech Ltd. triumphed as the Best Emerging Company on the island, taking home a cash prize of €50,000.
From left to right, Kieran Fitzpatrick, CEO Barracudafx, Maurice Curran, COO Barracudafx and Dr. David Dobbin CBE, Chairman Intertrade Ireland
Barracuda FX provides trading and risk management software solutions to leading global banks. Its innovative Foreign Exchange Order Management System gives banks complete control and confidence to significantly transform their Foreign Exchange business by increasing revenues, reducing costs and removing operational risk. The company employs around twenty staff and is based in the International Financial Services Centre, Dublin.
Kieran Fitzpatrick, CEO from Barracuda FX said: “Taking part in the Seedcorn process has helped us to refine our business plan. Effectively it helped us to take a step back and re-evaluate all aspects of the business. We are delighted to take home the Best High Growth Company prize. It is a validation of our business and winning will also help to raise our profile. It is a great endorsement for the team and it will definitely help us to attract the highest calibre of staff to our business.”
InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition, with an overall prize fund of €280,000, aims to recognise and promote the best early stage companies across the island. Companies are selected following an intense competition designed to mirror a real life investment process.
Business plans are initially assessed by a panel of independent entrepreneurs, investors and experts and companies are subjected to a rigorous interview before judges in competing for the Best Emerging and Best High Growth Company titles on a regional basis in Connaght & Leinster, Munster, Dublin and Northern Ireland with the winners in each region securing an initial €20,000 share of the prize fund for their company.
The overall all-island winners are then selected following presentations and investor-level pitches in Belfast before an expert panel of judges which included Sean Gallagher, Chairman of InterTradeIreland’s Equity Network and well-known ‘Dragon’ from RTÉ’s ‘Dragons Den’ and leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs North and South. Participating companies benefit from feedback on their plans and access to professional advice from financiers and venture capital companies.
From left to right, The Barracudafx mgmt team, Kieran Fitzpatrick, Maura Moore CEO Aventura Venture Partners, Cormac Walsh, Keith Troy, Mark O’Brien, Maurice Curran and Conor Dwan
Speaking at the presentation of the awards, Judge and Chair of InterTradeIreland’s Equity Network Sean Gallagher said: “Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Ireland as evidenced by the calibre and quality of entrants to this year’s competition. There is no doubt that companies such as Barracuda FX and Epona Biotech have the potential to lead future growth in our economy, and now more than ever, we need to get behind and support high potential start-up companies like these in their early stages as they have the potential to generate both growth and jobs for both economies.”
InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition is now in its eighth year and has grown to become the biggest business competition on the island, covering all regions. Winners of the flagship competition are often tipped as the ‘ones to watch’ amongst the business and investment community and previous finalists have to date leveraged over €130m in new equity funding since their success in the competition.
Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe T.D. said: “Barracuda FX and Epona Biotech are to be congratulated on their tremendous achievement. Both companies typify Ireland’s entrepreneurial spirit, using their ideas and vision to develop innovative products and services that break new ground and have widespread global potential.
InterTradeIreland’s flagship Seedcorn competition supports and nurtures entrepreneurship and new ventures – something which is key to Ireland’s recovery and growth. After all, today’s budding entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s big employers.