Five of Northern Ireland's most promising start-ups awarded £10K grants from TechStart Ventures

  • Photo: The Co-Founders team pictured with the five Co-Founders start-up teams each awarded a £10,000 POC grant
    Five of Northern Ireland’s most inspiring entrepreneurial teams have each been awarded £10,000 proof of concept (POC) grants from Techstart Ventures, through its Invest Northern Ireland fund, Techstart, following their successful involvement in Catalyst’s entrepreneurship programme, Co-Founders.
    Open to everyone, Co-Founders is a programme where people with passion, drive and ambition come together to create start-ups that could change the world. Run by Catalyst, Co-Founders brings people together to establish a founder team, validate their idea, test it in the real world, develop their business know-how and ultimately understand if they have a viable start-up idea.
    Catalyst has partnered with Techstart Ventures, a leading investor of seed capital supporting early-stage businesses, for a second year to provide £10,000 to each of the successful start-ups. The grants received must be used to validate their business and develop the commercial potential of the innovative concepts.
    This year saw 19 teams graduate from the programme, with five teams each receiving £10,000 POC grants. The recipients of the £10,000 awards are:
    • WearMatter – a clothing brand for people with disabilities who have challenges accessing fashionable, functional and comfortable clothing. 
    • Staffly - a digital platform that empowers hospital Trusts to find and hire temporary doctors, eliminating the use of expensive agencies. 
    • Mor – a company that lets you create and Sell Your AI Likeness for Marketing Videos. 
    • Beacon Admissions - a platform that will streamline the admissions process for both universities and international students, creating a central hub for students to upload documents, track the progress of their application and automate document checking, authorisation and rejection. 
    • Funki Drinks – producer of high fibre solutions to boost your fibre intake. 
    Hannah Cummings, Co-Founders Programme Manager said: Every year Co-Founders is growing, and the standard of the businesses who pitched for funding was of such high quality it is evident the future of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland is only going to continue to grow, if supported. Co-Founders is all about opening doors, sharing knowledge and expertise and making connections that our participants can take with them and use in the future.
    "The partnership with Techstart Ventures and £50,000 of POC grants is a connection that aims to continue supporting the businesses in gaining traction. We thank Techstart Ventures for their partnership and wish all our founders from the programme every success as they continue their journeys.”
    Kathleen Garret, Head of Proof of Concept Grants at Techstart Ventures said: “We were really impressed with the range of propositions we saw through the Co-Founders programme this year, and to meet so many impressive teams. The competition was very strong, and we are delighted to be able to support a number of the teams with grant funding to help take their solution to the next level. We wish all the founders every success in continuing to move forward.”
    Since launching in 2017, Co-Founders has welcomed over 850 people onto the programme with over 230 start-up teams formed and one third of teams continuing to develop their start-up.

Share this story