Cancer treatment start-up wins top InterTradeIreland award

Phion Therapeutics crowned winner of this year’s Seedcorn investor readiness award

Cancer treatment start-up Phion Therapeutics has been crowned winner of this year's Seedcorn investor readiness award from InterTradeIreland, scooping a top prize of €100,000.

The Belfast-based firm, originally spun-out from Queen’s University, specialises in drug delivery technology.

It was developed by Dr Helen McCarthy from the school of pharmacy at Queen's together with David Tabaczynski, an entrepreneur from Boston.

The other main winner on the night was Donegal company Cerebreon Technologies, which develops fintech software targeted at the UK insolvency industry, and which was named best new start company, winning a cash prize of €50,000.


The winners were announced at the grand final of the competition at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin.


Now in its 15th year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for new start-ups and early stage companies in any sector, from any part of the island. With over 275 competition entries, the winners went up against companies in a range of sectors including medical devices, technology, fintech, design engineering, diagnostics and even digital ticket sales.

At the awards, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald said: " Securing funding can be a challenge for early stage companies and, while there can only be two major winners of the generous Seedcorn Competition funded by InterTradeIreland, all 276 companies which participated in the process will have benefitted from the competition and should now be a better position to pursue outside investment as their companies develop."

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times