Seven teams of entrepreneurs and researchers received a total of €100,000 during the 4th 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 Ms 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 was a total of forty-three submissions for the Seed Fund, and the top fourteen 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 persons 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 whilst 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-a-lifetime bespoke vacations; and a TOMA, who aim to design, produce and sell novel foods based on sheep’s milk and combined with local flavours.
About the TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award
The TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award is a joint initiative between the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI) at the University of Malta and the Ministry for the Economy, Industry and Small Business (MEIB), with support from TAKEOFF, the Business Incubator of the University of Malta.