EV charging start-up GoPlugable takes top prize at Invent 2023

22 Sep 2023

From left: Meg Magill, Invent; Niall Devlin, Bank of Ireland; Maebh Reynolds, GoPlugable; and Fiona Bennington, Catalyst. Image: Catalyst

The EV charging start-up also won the Greentech category at the awards ceremony in ICC Belfast.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging network start-up GoPlugable was named the overall winner of the 2023 Invent awards.

The EV charging start-up, which was co-founded by Queen’s University Belfast graduate Maebh Reynolds in 2022, competed against nine other finalists for the title of overall winner at a ceremony held at the ICC Belfast last night (21 September). The Northern Irish start-up took home a prize package of £25,000 from the total prize fund of £52,000.

GoPlugable is building a network of home EV chargers where EV owners will be able to avail of neighbouring home charging points while owners of the chargers will be able to earn money by sharing access. Reynolds describes the company as “the AirBnB of electric vehicle home charging”.

Along with being named the overall winner, the start-up – which recently won an Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur award – also took the top spot in the Greentech award category.

Invent, which is run by science and tech hub Catalyst and headline partner Bank of Ireland (BOI) UK, is an annual competition that highlights and supports innovators and entrepreneurs operating in Northern Ireland. Last year’s winner was body armour start-up Vikela Armour.

Eventful Invent

Other winners of the night included WearMatter, a start-up that creates adaptive and functional clothing, which took home the Inclusive Innovation award.

Levelway, an application that provides access routes for wheelchair users, was declared the overall Student Invent winner.

The event organisers noted that there was a considerable increase in representation of women across the finalists, such as with start-up Feminatech which is comprised of five women. Feminatech took home £1,000 after winning a one-minute elevator pitch for their menopause tracking platform.

Meg Magill, Invent Programme Manager, congratulated the finalists and commended their work.

“The high calibre of entrants across all categories is incredibly encouraging and bodes well for the future of Northern Ireland business.”

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Colin Ryan is a copywriter/copyeditor at Silicon Republic