A Triumph for Women’s Health

16th December 2020

Posted In: FYI

NUA Surgical, a medical start-up from Galway has been named the Overall Winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, pocketing a cash prize of €100,000 at the online awards ceremony on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for innovative new start and early stage businesses in any sector. Since its inception in 2003, more than 3,100 companies have been through the programme and finalists have raised in excess of €256m in equity funding.

Its aim is to support innovative new starts as well as early stage businesses from any sector or part of the island to become investor-ready. Participants also have the chance to benefit from business planning workshops and mentorship support throughout the competition.

Based out of NUI Galway, NUA Surgical is dedicated to innovating in women’s health. The team includes Founder and CEO, Barry McCann, CTO and Co-Founder, Padraig Maher and COO and Co-Founder, Marie Therese Maher. They developed SteriCISION, a novel C-Section retractor that tackles the major unmet needs of the Caesarean Section (C-section). It will largely impact clinicians, hospitals and patients to ensure a safer surgery.

This is NUA Surgical’s second year of entering the Seedcorn competition, having reached the regional finals in 2019.

The prestigious event also seen GenoME Diagnostics from Northern Ireland taking home €50,000 and the title of Best New Start.

Established in 2020, GenoME Diagnostics are currently developing a novel blood test to detect an earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Their technology can be applied to biomarker discovery and development in a wide range of diseases and applications.

Commenting on their win, Shannon Beattie, COO at GenoME Diagnostics said; “We are thrilled to be announced as the ‘New Start’ category winner this year as we were up against very stiff competition. The prize money will allow us to validate our ovarian cancer diagnostic and get it into clinics as quickly as possible, it will also provide us with the opportunity to increase our business visibility internationally through networking at tradeshows and conferences.”

In addition, Belfast based software company Sonrai Analytics won a Special Award of €10,000, for the Best Company stemming from a university spin-out or support programme. The company, founded by Deva Senevirathne and Dr. Darragh McArt, has developed a data-integration platform which revolutionises precision medicine for Biotech and Pharma to accelerate discovery in diseases impacting lives today.

Congratulating the winners, Ken Nelson MBE, InterTradeIreland Chairman said: “Seedcorn aims to nurture and promote the growth of new enterprises across the island of Ireland. After a difficult year, it’s extremely encouraging to see the wealth of enthusiasm, innovative thinking and ambition that these businesses – both North and South – bring to the table.

“On behalf of InterTradeIreland, I would like to congratulate NUA Surgical and GenoME Diagnostics on their overall win and Sonrai Analytics as the special award winner. We wish them success and prosperity in all of their future endeavours, I have no doubt that they are destined for greatness and look forward to following their journey.”

(Pictured (l-r):  NUA Surgical – CTO Padraig Maher;  COO Marie Therese Maher and CEO, Barry McCann– overall winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.