Catalyst: 10 of Northern Ireland's most promising start-ups awarded £10k grants

The 10 start-up teams awarded the £10,000 grant, with the teams from Techstart and the Co-Founders programme.
The 10 start-up teams awarded the £10,000 grant, with the teams from Techstart and the Co-Founders programme.

INNOVATION hub Catalyst has named ten of the north’s most promising start-up tech firms.

The ten businesses have each been awarded £10,000 proof of concept (POC) grants after completing Catalyst’s early-stage entrepreneurship programmed, Co-Founders.

The programme is designed to place people from diverse backgrounds, interested in creating a start-up with high-growth potential, in a safe, risk-free environment.

This year saw 18 teams graduate from the programme, with 10 teams ultimately receiving the £10,000 POC grants. The start-ups cover a range of sectors including greentech, fintech, health and wellbeing, and education.

The funding initiative has been backed by Techstart Ventures, a leading investor of seed capital for early-stage businesses across Northern Ireland and Scotland.

This year’s Co-Founders programme focused on the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). Aligning with the SDG of ‘good health and wellbeing’, one team, Forgetmenot, is developing a platform to ease the pressures of dementia care, primarily aiming to support and help informal carers.

Another team, Plugable, is looking at access to home chargers and new public infrastructure to support EV adoption, working towards the SDGs of ‘affordable and clean energy’ and ‘sustainable cities and communities’.

The recipients of the £10,000 awards are:

  • Pangea
  • MDD Systems Ltd
  • Wavve
  • Plugable
  • PropAI
  • Forgetmenot
  • ElectrifyMe Ltd
  • Now Doctor Ltd
  • Agewell
  • Willow

The ten progress to phase two of the programme (Co-Founders+), where ideas are further developed, and teams are given access to mentors and industry specialists to accelerate their concepts.

Co-Founders programme manager at Catalyst, Hannah Cummings said: “Pitch Night is the culmination of the Co-Founders programme and is all about celebrating and elevating the voices of our co-founders, past and present, providing them with the opportunity to make connections beyond the programme within the start-up ecosystem, and gain insight from those who have been there and done it before. I wish all of our founders every success as they move forward.”

Kathleen Garret from Techstart Ventures, added: “We have seen some fantastic teams graduate from Co-Founders 2023, and we’re delighted to have partnered with Catalyst to provide the £100,000 grant funding to 10 of the teams.

“This funding will help fuel start-up growth in Northern Ireland as the Co-Founders teams look to take their ideas to the next level.

“We’re excited to see what the future holds for these start-up teams, who are tackling some challenging problems.”

The Co-Founders programme is funded by the Department for the Economy.