Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 12014 teams were selected from universities across Ireland and Northern Ireland for the semi-final which was kindly hosted by Davy Group in early June, 2016. In preparation for the semi-final each team was invited to take part in a pitching bootcamp hosted by Cilian Fennell of Stillwater Communications. From the 14 semi-finalists, 6 teams were selected for the final held on June 22. Cork start-up, Sothic Bioscience, won €10,000 as part of the annual Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition for their bio- synthetic replacement of an animal-derived product used widely in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) is an extract found in the distinctive blue blood of the horseshoe crab. It is the gold standard in validating every medicine or medical equip- ment for human use as LAL identifies whether products are endotoxins and pyrogen-free. Finding an alternative to LAL was a challenge that Founder and CEO Stephen Geary felt ready to undertake and here Sothic Bioscience was born. Speaking at the Business Plan final in Google, CEO Stephen Geary said, “Winning this year’s Ireland Funds’ Business Plan Competition will have a transformative effect on our business. The money will al- low us to jumpstart our Intellectual Property strategy as well as our R&D internally.” First Runner Up was GlowDx, a product that employs novel molecular science to pro- vide developing countries with high quality diagnostic tests; focusing on neglected tropi- cal diseases. GlowDx provides comprehen- sive solutions for the diagnosis of infectious disease by utilising nucleic acid detection through isothermal amplification. This allows for detection in the early stages of disease. Second Runner Up was UniTuition a prod- uct that provides 1,500 university students with an online marketplace for high quality academic support. UniTuition partners with student unions to digitally connect university communities, matching students with tutors who have completed and excelled in the spe- cific course they are struggling in. Previous winners of The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition have gone on to achieve significant success. The 2015 win- ner IVEA Labs, a technology solution that changes the way tourists interact with exhibi- tions, has since won Northern Ireland Science Park’s INVENT competition and has received TechStartNI funding of £10,000 for proof of concept. The 2012 winner, Coindrum, which installs machines in airports to enable travelers convert unwanted coins into duty- free retail vouchers, received an investment of $2 million in an oversubscribed investment round earlier this year. Judges at the event included Brian Long, Founder & Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge Ventures; Will McMahon, Associate at Highland Capital Europe; Neil O’Herlihy, Director of Strategy Google; Ronan Foley, Chairman of The Ireland Funds in Ireland; Alan Foy, CEO of Blueface; Barbara Diehl, Ex- ecutive Director at Innovation Academy; and Angela Moore, Chair of the Judging Panel and Managing Partner of Ravensdale Capital LLC. Out of over 50 applicants, Winners and Judges - Back Row: L-R: Mar jorie Muldowney, Will McMahon, Brian L ong, Angela Moore, Alan Foy, Neil O'Herlihy, Ronan Foley, Barbara Diehl. Front Row: Blaine Doyle of GlowDx, Piotr Jakubowicz and Stephen Geary of Sothic Bioscience and Orla McCallion and Sean Judge of UniTuition connect 2016 | 51