Ambitious businesses across healthcare, agriculture, enterprise, textiles and more given opportunity to grow globally through IgniteNI
IgniteNI has revealed the 10 game-changing start-ups selected to participate in its renowned accelerator programme for growing technology companies. Launching in Belfast on Monday 8th March and running until Friday the 28th May 2021, one of the 10 early-stage companies chosen to take part is from Cork with the remainder from the UK, Germany, and the US. Supported by InvestNI, IgniteNI is a powerhouse for young businesses that provides mentorship, financial support and access to investors and other supports to help them scale.
Each year, the IgniteNI Accelerator Programme handpicks a cohort of 10 of the most promising start-ups from around the world that can demonstrate traction and significant potential for future growth. Through the three-month Accelerator Programme, these early-stage businesses are provided with financial support and mentorship, as well as exposure to a high-tier global network of entrepreneurs and investors. Demand for this year’s IgniteNI Accelerator and Propel pre-accelerator programmes was extremely high, with IgniteNI receiving interest from around 1,100 start-ups in 35 countries.
Some of the most exciting start-ups on this year’s programme include Eolas Medical, a company harnessing the world’s medical knowledge to support global healthcare equity; PulseAI, a platform transforming cardiovascular diagnosis through AI; and Respiratory Analytics, a sensor technology and data analytics tool to control respiratory symptoms. Each of the participants in the accelerator will receive between €26,000 and €32,000 in financial support, €288,000 in credits from companies such as Stripe, Amazon and Intercom, investor lunches and nine months of office space in Belfast’s Ormeau Baths.
Of the 10 start-ups selected for this year’s IgniteNI Accelerator Programme, 5 previously participated in IgniteNI’s early-stage start-up accelerator, Propel. The 10 participants focus on several sectors including healthcare, fintech and hardware, and originate from a range of locations including Belfast, Derry, Berlin, Cork, Boston and Milton Keynes. During the three-month programme, the successful participants will receive expert mentorship and access to experienced and talented speakers.
According to figures from Vision-net’s business barometer, 11,879 start-ups were established in Ireland last year alone. 638 of those were in Cork, 2,145 were in Dublin and 248 were in Galway.
Commenting on the cohort of start-ups selected for IgniteNI’s 2021 Accelerator programme, Invest NI’s Director of Technology Solutions, Stephen Wightman, said:
“Once again, we see an excellent group of companies from Northern Ireland and further afield selected to take part in the Accelerator programme, which continues to grow in strategic importance as a key element in Northern Ireland’s burgeoning start-up economy. I wish each team every success over the coming months and look forward to supporting their growth.”
Ahead of this year’s IgniteNI Accelerator, IgniteNI Programme Director Chris McClelland, said:
“There is a real sense of momentum here. Year on year the quality and approach of start-ups is getting better, reinforcing our belief that Northern Ireland’s reputation as a great place to start and grow a business. Over the last three years, we’ve seen a seismic shift in the venture capital that’s being invested in these companies and we believe this cohort is going to give us another leap forward.
“We’re pleased to see groups of companies working in similar spaces and we think the work being done in healthcare is worth celebrating. We’re confident that each of the start-ups chosen for this year’s IgniteNI Accelerator will make enormous contributions to the economy and society, both in Northern Ireland and further afield. We’re excited to see how they progress and grow over the coming months and to see their impact inspiring the next generation of founders.”
IgniteNI’s Accelerator Programme has previously featured start-ups that have successfully gone on to raise millions in funding, including Cloudsmith, MedAll, Datch and Payhere. Scott Wylie, Co-Founder of Payhere, commented:
“The assistance and guidance that is given by the mentors and external guests at IgniteNI provide early stage companies with the opportunity to speak with people who have been there and done it all. They will challenge you, in a good way, with only one objective and that is to help you succeed.”