Belfast start-up event offers £50,000 prize for best pitch

22 Mar 2017

Image: TZIDO SUN/Shutterstock

The plethora of start-up competitions and accelerators in Ireland continues to tick over as Upstart welcomes entries for its £50,000-prize pitch event.

Ireland’s start-up scene is booming, north and south of the border. Enterprise Ireland’s touring pitch event, for example, is taking in seven stops around the country as it seeks out the next Stripe or Movidius.

Additionally, the closing date for two other Competitive Start Fund programmes from Enterprise Ireland, looking for graduate and international start-ups, is approaching, with applications accepted until today (22 March). Meanwhile, an earlier programme looking at all sectors in ICT, which closed for applications in early February, had its pitch event yesterday.

Not to be outdone, the Northern Ireland scene is thriving, too.

A programme called Upstart has opened a call for this year’s pitch event, with £50,000 on offer in prizes, including a £10,000 cash prize.

Seeking start-ups operating in AI, data, cyber, fintech, SaaS and internet of things, the organisers are accepting companies of all shapes and sizes – from new ideas to post-investment, £1m alternatives.

Held in Belfast, the overall champion of the pitch event will receive that £10,000 in cash, plus an additional £40,000-worth of other prizes including licensing, tutoring and exhibition spaces at upcoming events.

The start-ups that are selected to pitch over the two days will also have the opportunity to hold one-to-one meetings with investors and take part in a private networking social for start-ups and investors.

Meanwhile a Berlin-based Startupbootcamp project opened this week, with medtech the order of the day.

For its digital health programme, the organisers are looking for start-ups in areas like biotech, data and analytics, behaviour change, e-health, genomics, health insurance and remote monitoring.

Applications for the camp are currently being welcomed, with $15,000 on offer for a 6pc stake in the successful participants’ start-up.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic