The AMP and Techstart Ventures Announce Winners of NW £10k Grant Competition

  • Two North West start-up businesses have each been announced as winners of £10,000 in grant aid from The AMP and Techstart Ventures, as part of the new ‘LabTech Initiative’.

    The LabTech Initiative was launched in March at The AMP — the North West’s first and only privately-funded incubator and co-working space, which is based at Ebrington Square in Derry-Londonderry.

    In December 2022, The AMP announced an exciting partnership with Techstart Ventures, a leading investor of seed capital in early-stage businesses.

    That partnership resulted in the creation of the LabTech initiative, a North West-specific and pre-commercial proof of concept grant competition, which supports entrepreneurs by providing funding to explore the viability and commercial potential of innovative concepts.

    Applications were shortlisted and after a day of in-person pitches at The AMP, two successful start-ups were awarded the substantial grant aid to further their innovative ideas.

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    Storyboard Designer and Director, Christian Kotley, was successful with Nupitch, an online tool that allows professionals to quickly create visually engaging, comprehensive film pitch decks.

    Christian said: “Winning the LabTech Initiative grant is not just a validation of our business idea, but a crucial milestone that will enable us to achieve our vision. We are thankful for the opportunity and committed to making the most of it to build a successful business that makes a difference in the world of technology.”

    Also successful was James McGarrigle, the founder of Pebble, a subscription-based platform for colleges and universities aiming to improve Student Project Based Learning outcomes. James is also a Digital Design Lecturer at NWRC.

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    James said: "I was excited to have the chance to pitch my proof of concept and then delighted when I received news that I was successful. I have been working on iterations of this concept for a while now and this opportunity has re-energised me to focus my skills and experience within the education and the creative AV industries to synergise aspects of each which overlap in order to aid the educational journey of students in 2023 and beyond!"

    Kathleen Garrett, of Techstart Ventures, said: “We were delighted to have partnered with The AMP this year to launch the LabTech Initiative together and to further support the entrepreneurial community in the North West area. Well done to both winners — we are excited to see where the grant funding takes your innovative start-up ideas.”

    AMP co-founder, Ryan Williams, was equally thrilled: “We are absolutely delighted with the first LabTech awards in the North West. This is a pump-priming, exciting initiative with our good friends at Techstart Ventures and is a key ingredient of our burgeoning tech ecosystem in the city and region. The successful applicants are testimony to the maturing of our local ecosystem and will no doubt go from strength to strength in the coming months and years.”

    Source: Written from press release

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