Element Software wins €50,000 as the ‘Best New Start’


Galway companies Westway Health and Element Software have won the two top awards at InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

As ‘Best Early Stage’ company Westway Health takes away a cash prize of €100,000 and Element Software wins €50,000 as the ‘Best New Start’ company. 

Westway Health has developed a technology designed to tackle major problems in human and animal medicine and to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. 

It has specifically focused on the treatment and prevention of bovine mastitis, which costs the dairy industry in the EU and US over €3bn a year. 

Westway Health’s product, PanaMast, is the first non-antibiotic solution meaning farmers can continue to sell milk during and following treatment. 

As up to 80pc of dairy cows exhibit some signs of infections at some stage each year, this will have a major impact on the bottom line of farmers and milk producers, according to the company’s chairman Professor Vincent O’Flaherty.

He said: “The Seedcorn competition process was a great learning curve and we received invaluable feedback from investors, entrepreneurs and advisors regarding our pitch and business plan. 

“The potential market for PanaMast is €1.5 billion per annum from the major markets across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The prize money will help us to fund formal clinical trials next year and advance towards our target of PanaMast hitting the shelves by 2017.”

Founded in 2011 by Dorothy Creaven (CEO) and James Harkin (CTO), Element Software developed Element Wave, a real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform for app publishers who want to address the issues of customer retention and user conversion. 

One of the biggest issues with the mobile app market is low user retention with more than 70pc of mobile app users drop off within the first three months. Real-time analytics and mobile messaging platform Element Wave tackles this problem for app publishers by keeping people interested in using their apps.

Creaven said: “The Seedcorn competition has meant a lot to us in terms of attracting marketing and investment opportunities, and the prize money will mainly be used to assist us in closing sales with our growing customer base outside of Ireland.

“Seedcorn is much more than a standard competition; the feedback on our business plan that we have received along the way has really helped to push our business ahead and we look forward to announcing more exciting news in 2014.”

At the ceremony in Clontarf Castle last night, Bizimply from Dublin was also awarded the best venture stemming from a university spinout/support programme, winning €10,000 in cash.