Five promising start-ups each win £10,000 proof of concept grants

Money will be used to develop the commercial potential of firms’ innovative concepts

The Co-Founders team pictured with the five start-up teams each awarded a £10,000 POC grant

Five of the north’s most inspiring entrepreneurial teams have each been awarded £10,000 proof of concept (POC) grants from seed capital investor Techstart Ventures, through its Invest NI fund Techstart, following their successful involvement in Catalyst’s Co-Founders entrepreneurship programme.

The ethos of Co-Founders ( is that people with passion, drive and ambition come together to create start-ups that could change the world.

Run by Catalyst, it brings people together to establish a founder team, validate their idea, test it in the real world, develop their business know-how and ultimately understand if they have a viable start-up idea.

Catalyst has partnered with Techstart Ventures for a second year to provide £10,000 to each of the successful start-ups.

The grants received will be used to validate their business and develop the commercial potential of the innovative concepts.

This year saw 19 teams graduate from the programme, with these five teams each receiving £10,000 POC grants:

  • WearMatter – a clothing brand for people with disabilities who have challenges accessing fashionable, functional and comfortable clothing.
  • Staffly - a digital platform that empowers hospital trusts to find and hire temporary doctors, eliminating the use of expensive agencies.
  • Mor – a company that lets you create and sell your AI likeness for marketing videos.
  • Beacon Admissions - a platform that will streamline the admissions process for both universities and international students, creating a central hub for students to upload documents, track the progress of their application and automate document checking, authorisation and rejection.
  • Funki Drinks – producer of high fibre solutions to boost your fibre intake.

Co-Founders programme manager Hannah Cummings said: “Every year the programme is growing, and the standard of the businesses who pitched for funding was of such high quality it is evident the future of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland is only going to continue to grow, if supported.”