Belfast’s Ormeau Baths start-up hub is now Ormeau Labs

14 Jun 2024

Image: Ormeau Labs

Last year, Ormeau Labs and Dogpatch Labs were awarded a contract to run HBAN 2.0 in partnership with an all-island network of hubs.

Ormeau Baths, the start-up innovation hub based in Belfast, is changing its name to Ormeau Labs to “reflect its commitment to evolving as a dynamic centre for innovation, research and technology”.

The rebranding is a significant milestone in the organisation’s journey as a tech hub since it was founded in 2015 on the site of a former Victorian Bathhouse, giving it its name. The Belfast city centre campus has been helping start-ups in Northern Ireland to create networks, grow their business and scale abroad. Essentially, Ormeau Baths – now Labs – is to Belfast what Dogpatch Labs is to Dublin.

Claire Halliday, co-Founder and general manager of Ormeau Labs, said that while its ethos remains “deeply rooted” in facilitating connections and nurturing talent, the hub’s new identity “underscores our dedication to pushing the boundaries of innovation further”.

“Ormeau Labs has evolved beyond its origins as a co-workspace; it has increasingly become a leading force in the delivery of programming, support and resources aimed at empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and start-ups,” said Halliday. “Our expanded scope encompasses a diverse range of initiatives, including accelerator programs, hackathons, workshops and industry partnerships.”

Last year, Ormeau Labs and Dogpatch Labs were awarded a contract to run HBAN 2.0, the Halo Business Angel Network, in partnership with an all-island network of hubs.

The two hubs, along with the The AMP in Derry and Queen’s University Belfast, were also recently announced as co-leaders of a new all-island accelerator programme called Founder Labs (which launched this week) designed to help early-stage start-ups.

Ormeau Labs is a founding member of the Irish Tech Hub Network, a network of six community-led and entrepreneurial-driven organisations that aims to boost the connectedness of hubs across the island.

“Investing in Ormeau Baths was a step towards accelerating innovation in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah Friar, one of the hub’s original investors who was appointed chief financial officer at OpenAI this week.

“Now, as we transition into Ormeau Labs, we strive to further spur creativity, connection and growth. Our mission is clear: to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to pioneer meaningful advancements, not only in Northern Ireland, but beyond.”

“The decision to invest in Ormeau Baths was driven by a need for entrepreneurs in Belfast to have a space to come together and share ideas – and to repurpose a historically significant space in the heart of the city,” adds David Singleton, chief technology officer at Stripe.

“The next phase of Ormeau Labs will carry this founding vision even further, helping entrepreneurs transform their ideas into global businesses that showcase the untapped potential of Belfast.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

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