20 Places On The Propel 2021 Pre-Accelerator Up For Grabs To Aspiring Founders

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Early stage startup entrepreneurs and innovators from across Northern Ireland can now apply to take part in Propel 2021, the region’s most competitive pre-accelerator programme.

The Propel Pre-Accelerator is an intensive six-month programme that helps early-stage companies’ stress test their ideas and successfully launch a product to market.

Supported by Invest Northern Ireland and delivered by IgniteNI, the programme supports technology based startups who are at the idea stage of their development. Each year the programme recruits 20 ambitious, motivated individuals and teams, with no limits on age, career stage or experience.

Companies who secure a place on the programme, which starts in January, will each receive a £15,000 grant from Invest Northern Ireland, 12 months free co-working space in one of the UK’s top co-working spaces, the Ormeau Baths, and exposure to a global network of mentors, entrepreneurs and investors.

The hybrid programme, which has adjusted to allow a blend of in person and flexible remote working, has enabled IgniteNI to increase Propel’s global reach and secure time with a number of high-profile founders and guest speakers.

Applications close on 6 November 2020. To apply, or to book a chat about your startup, founders should visit www.igniteni.com or contact hello@igniteni.com to find out more.

Chris McClelland, Programme Director of IgniteNI, said: “Despite the current climate, it’s been a record-breaking year for IgniteNI startups. This is a testament to the founders’ adaptability, the support of hundreds of mentors and speakers, and the wider community at IgniteNI. We’re extremely proud of the progress that they’ve made and their resilience when faced with challenging circumstances. The pandemic has created a new wave of opportunities for startups and we’re excited to see what 2021 applicants bring. So even if you just have a glimmer of an idea for a tech-based business, get in touch, we’d love to help.”

Stephen Wightman, Director for Technology Solutions at Invest NI, said: “The Northern Ireland tech sector is continuing to thrive and adapt to the changing business landscape following the pandemic. Propel is an immersion into the world of setting up a business in Northern Ireland, and it has helped many innovative companies to test their market and launch successfully. We look forward to welcoming the next intake of entrepreneurs for 2021 and seeing what challenges and innovation they bring as we look to rebuild the economy following COVID-19.”

Despite recent circumstances, multiple companies who have previously completed Ignite programmes have continued to achieve success throughout 2020.

For example, health tech startup MedAll launched the world’s first virtual medical conference and also secured investment from Seedcamp.

Material Evolution, which applies machine learning to the construction industry to make sustainable concrete, has just won a place on the prestigious Heritage Group accelerator, powered by Techstars.

Accelerator alumni Datch also secured $3.2m in seed investment for their Voice AI industry assistant.

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