Invest NI Propel accelerator reaches £18m investment milestone

5 Jul 2016

Members of the second phase of Invest NI Propel

The Northern Ireland Propel Programme has revealed that it has reached a milestone of £18m in investment secured for current and past participants.

The accelerator programme revealed the milestone as it announced that 20 of Northern Ireland’s highest potential start-ups have been selected to take part in the second phase of the programme.

The programme, which is designed to fast-track export-focused business ideas with high growth potential, has now assisted more than 140 companies over the past five years and latest figures show that, as well as the funding milestone, it has helped create more than 430 jobs.

‘These investment figures are testament to the success of these entrepreneurs’

The 2016 cohort is comprised of a diverse range of start-up businesses, including Swig, the world’s first dedicated hip-flask brand, Unique 11, a social gaming platform recently selected to create the official IFA fantasy football game for Euro 2016, and Flyte, a company creating groundbreaking new software for drone pilots.

The Propel Programme is designed to give each of them the opportunity to work on an accelerated development plan, benefit from expert one-to-one mentoring and attend workshops aimed at making their business ideas investor-ready.

Each entrepreneur will also gain access to new shared office workspace in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and up to £20,000 worth of financial support.

“The Propel programme is aimed at high calibre entrepreneurs who have the passion and energy to succeed on an international stage,” explained Niall Casey, Invest NI’s director of Skills and Strategy.

“These investment figures are testament to the success of these entrepreneurs, as well as to the success of the programme in helping them create investor-ready businesses, which are prepared to compete in export markets.

“The results are confirmation of the significant contribution Propel Programme participants continue to make to the local economy and we have no doubt that the 2016 cohort will contribute significantly to these encouraging figures in the years ahead.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years