IgniteNI's 2021 Accelerator cohort has raised six times more investment than previous years

  • The 10 start-ups on this year's IgniteNI Accelerator programme have raised nearly six times more investment than previous years, said Chris McClelland, Programme Director of IgniteNI.

    The 2021 Accelerator cohort is looking to surpass previous funding levels, with the 10 companies - half of which are based in Northern Ireland - now actively raising over £10m of pre-seed investment.

    The three-month programme sees IgniteNI work with 10 early-stage companies across Northern Ireland and beyond to help them scale and grow their businesses, with the help of global mentors, investors and founders.

    This year's cohort recently concluded their programme, and brought together experienced founders from across the globe, representing a wide range of sectors including MedTech, asset management, fashion and fitness.

    Chris McClelland continued: “The purpose of the Accelerator is to help ambitious founders build global and successful businesses from anywhere in the world. Over the past year, we’ve witnessed incredible feats by both our current and Alumni companies, from adapting to the pandemic, to raising investment in the US. We’re excited for the future of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.”

    RELATED: Tech Craic: Ignite NI's Chris McClelland on NI's start-up scene

    Based in Belfast, IgniteNI launched the first of four annual Accelerator programmes in 2017.

    To date, its alumni have gone on to raise more than £20m in pre-seed and seed-stage funding, attracting a wide range of high-profile investors such as Seedcamp, Ascension and Samiapata.

    Invest NI has supported IgniteNI's Accelerator and Propel Pre-Accelerator programmes since their inceptions, and the economic growth agency's Director of Technology Solutions, Stephen Wightman added: “I am delighted at the impacts achieved by both - they have surpassed expectations in helping participant companies to secure early equity investment to grow and develop, with a truly global outlook across many sectors.

    "Each year we see rapid steps forward driven by the expertise of the Ignite team, supported by mentors, advisors, entrepreneurs and friends at home and across the globe.”

    RELATED: Read more about NI's start-up community on Sync NI's Start-Ups page

    This year's participants included:

    Aflo, keeping respiratory patients safe with hyper-personalised data analytics.

    Breathe Happy, interactive yoga classes by AI-assisted teachers.

    CropSafe, the operating system for crop farmers, using satellite imagery to detect diseases in crop fields and farmland.

    Eolas Medical, harnessing the world's medical knowledge to ensure equitable healthcare globally.

    Kniterate, a digital knitting machine, producing on-demand customised fashion, made locally.

    Konvi, enabling anyone to Crowd-own luxury assets, such as watches, wine and art.

    LegitFit, taking the heavy lifting out of fitness businesses

    MedAll, the virtual medical school, making training technology accessible to every healthcare professional, everywhere.

    PulseAI, enabling access to expert level healthcare with artificial intelligence.

    X-15 Data Systems, offering enterprise asset management software for the aerospace and defence industries.

    Find out more about Ignite NI here.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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