10 start-up finalists named for the Invent 2022 competition

27 May 2022

Bank of Ireland UK head of business banking NI Niall Devlin and Catalyst director of innovation community Elaine Smyth. Image: Catalyst

A shortlist of start-up finalists across five categories has been announced for Invent 2022, Northern Ireland’s competition for early-stage businesses.

Northern Ireland’s annual celebration of the region’s brightest new business ideas returns this year with 10 start-up finalists.

Organised by science and technology hub Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, Invent aims to showcase and reward the local innovations and ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.

The annual competition gives ambitious entrepreneurs the chance to gain exposure and recognition, which can help attract funding, customers and partners.

The 10 shortlisted start-ups this year have been drawn from five different categories: green-tech, health and wellbeing, product, consumer software, and business software.

Each Invent category winner will receive £5,000, with the overall winner taking home an additional £20,000. Prizes of £1,000 will also be awarded to the best student application and best elevator pitch delivered on the night of the Invent awards on 1 September.

“The standard of the competition entries gets better every year, making it increasingly difficult for the judges,” Catalyst director of innovation community Elaine Smyth said. “I feel inspired by the innovation, creative thinking and knowledge showcased by our 10 finalists and it really highlights the talent the Northern Ireland tech sector has to offer.”

Last year’s Invent competition saw Coleraine-based StimOxyGen take the top prize. The start-up’s idea focused on technology that enhances the effects of cancer treatment by overcoming hypoxia in solid tumours.

Another previous Invent winner is CropSafe, a data platform to help with farm management, which recently raised $3m in seed funding to boost its growth in the US and expand its team.

This year’s final will take place at ICC Belfast. Here are the start-up finalists that will appear, hoping to win the first-place prize of £25,000.


Plaswire recycles and recovers industrial plastics back into the supply chain. The start-up aims to replace high-carbon concrete with residual packaging waste to reduce the amount that goes to incineration and landfill.


Phasora, a spin-out of Queen’s University Belfast, aims to build affordable sensors and use novel software to aid in the management of increasingly complex electricity distribution networks. It wants to use its sensor technology and cloud services to help reduce costs and deliver reliable cleaner energy.


Mind-Mapper is developing non-invasive wearable neuroimaging systems, designed to record brain function and graph improvements across therapy sessions.

Pulse AI

Belfast-based Pulse AI is building artificial intelligence software products to improve the accuracy, efficiency and scalability of cardiac diagnostics.

Vikela Armour

Vikela Armour is developing body armour with a focus on comfort and providing complete protection. Vikela aims to have innovation at the forefront of its business and keep on top of manufacturing developments.

Field of Vision

Field of Vision is working on new tech to improve live sport viewing for visually impaired fans, delivered with the help of haptics and AI. The start-up has already come top at the Student Entrepreneur Awards, received Engineers Ireland’s Innovative Student Engineer of the Year award, and been crowned the winner of the LaunchBox student accelerator.


Linc claims to be working on the world’s first integrative, AI-powered, smartphone sizing product for the jewellery and watch markets. Linc said its technology could increase revenues while reducing the returns and carbon footprint of these markets.

Academic Fish

Academic Fish is a curriculum-based maths app, designed to help the understanding and translation of academic maths language, initially between English, Chinese and Irish. It is designed to be used by mathematicians from post primary through to university-level education.


Thunder is a start-up working to change how businesses innovate by empowering teams to share their problems and ideas.

Allergy Act

Allergy Act aims to improve food safety and allergy management to support both the food industry and consumers.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic