Lisburn company win special award

Julie and David Gray from Grays Clip are pictured with Connor Sweeney (left), Seedcorn Project Manager.  'Picture Conor McCabe
Julie and David Gray from Grays Clip are pictured with Connor Sweeney (left), Seedcorn Project Manager. 'Picture Conor McCabe

Local company, Gray’s Clip picked up a special award of £10,000 at the Northern Ireland final of the 2017 InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition.

They were named the Best Company who attended a support platform programme.

The entrepreneurs will then compete for the overall Best New Start prize worth €50,000 or the overall Best Early Stage prize worth €50,000, and ultimately the Overall Winner title, worth €100,000.

Gray’s Clip Ltd was set up on July 2015 by Julie Gray and has developed the world’s only fully insulated staple, suitable for use when fixing 240 volt cables to wood.

The staple is fired from a battery powered stapler and is used by electricians when wiring houses.

The company anticipates that there will be a number of complementary follow-on products which will be introduced at a later date.

Now in its 15th year, Seedcorn is the island’s biggest business competition for new start and early stage companies in any sector, from any part of the island. The competition, aimed at those which have a new equity funding requirement, has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000, with no equity stake taken.

To date, InterTradeIreland has supported over 2,300 enterprising companies through the Seedcorn process. With €229 million in new equity being raised by the companies which have reached the regional finals stage of the Seedcorn competition over the past 14 years, the competition has a strong track record of supporting early business start-ups to become investor ready.

Connor Sweeney, Seedcorn Project Manager, InterTradeIreland said; “It is always exciting to work with companies at an early stage in their development. The initial period of development for any start-up can be daunting for any entrepreneur, however the processes and knowledge that they receive as part of the Seedcorn competition is invaluable.

“With a total cash prize fund of €280,000, Seedcorn is the largest business competition on the island of Ireland. Furthermore, it is widely considered by the business and investment community to be the gold standard for new and emerging businesses. As well as offering a cash prize to the winning companies, it also gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to active investors and this helps them to hone their skills.”

Companies can follow the Competition on Twitter (@ITI_seedcorn) where they can get valuable information and advice from experts.

Further details are also available on the Seedcorn website at