TAKE­OFF Seed Fund Awards – €100,000 to sup­port en­trepreneurs and re­searchers

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

Seven teams of en­trepreneurs and re­searchers re­ceived a to­tal of €100,000 in the fourth edition of the TAKE­OFF Seed Fund Awards. The pre­sen­ta­tions were made by Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona at the Univer­sity of Malta TAKE­OFF Business In­cu­ba­tor.

The Min­is­ter stated that, “as in pre­vi­ous years, it is en­cour­ag­ing to see ven­tures stem­ming from such a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent areas. Malta is brim­ming with in­no­va­tive ideas and tech­nolo­gies, and the Min­istry is de­lighted to play its part in sup­port­ing the best per­form­ing teams and as­sist­ing them in tak­ing these in­no­va­tions closer to mar­ket. I trust that with the guid­ance they re­ceive at the TAKE­OFF Business In­cu­ba­tor, some of these start-up ven­tures will de­velop into suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing lo­cal work­ers and mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to our econ­omy.”

Univer­sity Rec­tor, Prof. Al­fred Vella, presided over the Award Cer­e­mony, which was also at­tended by Nancy Caru­ana, Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of the Min­istry for the Econ­omy, In­vest­ment and Small Business; Prof. Ing. Saviour Zam­mit, Pro-Rec­tor for Re­search & Knowl­edge Trans­fer; TAKE­OFF Man­ager Ing. Joseph Bar­tolo and Dr Ing. An­ton Bar­tolo, Di­rec­tor of the Knowl­edge Trans­fer Of­fice.

The Rec­tor com­mented that “the Univer­sity ac­tively sup­ports en­trepreneur­ship and re­search com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion, be it through spe­cialised de­grees, such as the Mas­ter De­gree in Knowl­edge-Based En­trepreneur­ship, through study units in en­trepreneur­ship of­fered across var­i­ous de­gree pro­grammes, and through ac­tive hands-on as­sis­tance avail­able at the TAKE­OFF Business In­cu­ba­tor and through the Knowl­edge Trans­fer Of­fice. These ini­tia­tives to­gether with the funds avail­able through pro­grammes such as the TAKE­OFF Seed Fund Award have al­ready started pro­duc­ing some suc­cess sto­ries and we look for­ward to wit­ness­ing an in­creas­ing num­ber of these in the fu­ture.”

There were 43 sub­mis­sions for the Seed Fund, and the top 14 were se­lected to pitch their ideas to the Ad­ju­di­ca­tion Board. The fi­nal win­ners of the Proof of Con­cept cat­e­gory were: As­siduity, a soft­ware pack­age that will en­able in­tel­li­gent search­ing of large data­bases of le­gal texts, and which will be ap­plied ini­tially to the Laws of Malta; and TDRpro which in­volves the de­sign of a Time Do­main Re­flec­tome­ter (TDR) probe that is based on the in­ter­ac­tion of elec­tro­mag­netic fields and the ma­te­rial un­der test (MUT).

The win­ners of the Seed Fund cat­e­gory were: Fetch A Ser­vice, an on­line plat­form de­signed to al­low peo­ple and busi­nesses with tight sched­ules to out­source some of their daily chores to in­di­vid­u­als will­ing to pro­vide the ser­vice for a fee; Prop­er­tyMar­ket.com.mt, which pro­vides easy ac­cess to up-to-date in­for­ma­tion on the real estate mar­ket while al­low­ing re­al­tors to ef­fec­tively mar­ket their ser­vices; in­Malta.Travel, a one-stop-shop that al­lows vis­i­tors to the Maltese Islands to plan their trip with min­i­mum ef­fort by show­cas­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered by the wide pool of ser­vice providers; Eli­iss, a Lux­ury Ser­vice Provider, with its hub in Malta, that or­gan­ises and co-or­di­nates once-in-al­ife­time be­spoke va­ca­tions; and TOMA, which aims to de­sign, pro­duce and sell novel foods based on sheep’s milk com­bined with lo­cal flavours.

Ms Fanny Ye, PKF Projects Man­ager Mr Chen Qin, At­tor­ney at Law – Di­rec­tor Im­mi­gra­tion & In­vest­ment, Kenneth Far­ru­gia, Chair­man Fi­nanceMalta and Ivan Grech Business Devel­op­ment, Fi­nanceMalta

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