Local tech inventors win big at the 2019 Catalyst Invent Awards

  • The 2019 Catalyst Invent Awards took place last night, with six innovative tech startups splitting a prize pool of £33,000.

    Many of us have ideas for tech that could improve the world while in university, but few go on to turn those innovations into complete products and viable businesses. The annual Catalyst Invent Awards strive to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland's most talented tech inventors, and local students won big at this year's awards.

    The 2019 award ceremony took place last night at ICC Belfast, with aroud 700 guests from across the tech sector gathering to celebrate Northern Ireland's innovators. Six category winners were chosen across the Agri Science, Electronics, Life & Health Science, Engineering, Creative Media & Consumer Internet, and Enterprise Software catgories, with one being selected as the overall competition winner.

    This year's overall winner was Lewis Loane from Newtownards, an Electronics and Electrical Engineering student at Queen's University Belfast who won the Electronics category with Signal Optimiser, an impressive new piece of music tech. Signal Optimiser is a device that site between a guitar and amplifier to improve the audio quality at a range of volume levels.

    Lewis wins £13,000 to help bring his invention to life, and was selected based on the technology's massive potential for global commercialisation. Five other finalists won £3,000 prizes for winning in their specific tech categories, rising to the top of the over 100 applicants the competition received this year. The full list of winners is below:

    Invent Programme Manager Karen Hall congratulated Lewis on winning the overall competition award: "Lewis is a worthy winner who epitomises the spirit of the Invent competition. His pitch was on-point, he was cool under pressure and he has picked up so many skills throughout the whole process which make him a force to be reckoned with in business. I’m sure he will inspire the next generation of inventors to follow their dreams and aim big!"

    The award was sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK. The bank's Head of Business Banking Gavin Kennedy commented on the high level of quality at the event, saying "The Invent competition continues to be an inspiration for all ambitious entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. It is a unique programme, providing a platform for discovery, practical supports and membership to a positive, innovative entrepreneurial community that focuses on supporting outstanding talent in Northern Ireland."

    Source: Catalyst Inc


    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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