Propel start-ups pitch for £20,000 investment pot

Propel 2018 winners Bob Marks from Video First, Cormac Quinn from loyalty card app loyalBe and Cathy Craig from INCISIV. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/PressEye

TWENTY aspiring early stage technology companies have brought their time to a close on Ignite NI's first Propel Pre-Accelerator programme by pitching for the chance to win a cash injection for their businesses.

The Propel teams showcased their innovative tech products and services at a packed-out pitch event in the Ormeau Baths in a bid to secure prizes of £10,000, £5,000 and £3,000.

The Ignite NI Propel Pre-Accelerator launched at the end of January with the support of Invest NI.

Propel is a pre-accelerator programme for people with early stage ventures or business ideas. The initiative helps entrepreneurs build a business that can scale faster than most, reach significant export growth and secure external investment.

Bob Marks from Video First, who offer automated video user interface testing, was awarded the top prize of £10,000. INCISIV, a company which use artificial intelligence to provide insight into athletic performance, won £5,000 while Cormac Quinn from loyalty card app loyalBe was presented with the £3,000 award.

The winners were selected based on how they had engaged with the six-month programme and the progress they made in developing their business potential as they endeavour to build a thriving company.

Tristan Watson, chief executive of Ignite NI said: “The winners demonstrated real entrepreneurial spirit when it came to their start-up journey.

"Many people would love to step away from their stable job to pursue their own business aspirations but few have the guts to do it. But all of the teams on Propel took that step and we're so proud of all they've achieved because of it. They've taken what they've learnt from the programme, applied it to their business and some are already reaping the rewards.”

Niall Casey, director of skills and competitiveness at Invest NI added: “The 20 talented entrepreneurs involved in this cohort of the Ignite NI Propel Pre-Accelerator demonstrated incredible promise and a commitment to contribute to our vibrant start-up community.

"We want to make Northern Ireland the best region in which to start, and grow, a business and are pleased to be helping these indigenous companies in their journey.”

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