Plotbox- an online tool that combines cemetery management software and genealogy resources - has emerged as the winner of the Propel Company of the Year, sponsored by Danske Bank, at Invest Northern Ireland’s Propel Programme awards ceremony.
Bringing together the 26 participants who successfully completed the Invest NI programme - aimed at developing high growth potential, export focused start-ups - the Awards, held this week in W5 Belfast, celebrated their dedication to the growth of their businesses and their commitment to succeed on an international stage.
Other businesses recognised at the Awards were See.Sense winning the breakthrough Company of the Year, and Beacon, winning the Best Go-to-Market Strategy. Joined by representatives from the start-up and wider business community and media, the Propel participants were addressed by Halo NI Business Angel of the Year, Stephen Houston.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Plotbox co-founder Leona McAllister said: “Gaining this recognition is a huge honour for us, particularly as this year’s programme has been so strong. It’s fantastic to step back and appreciate how far our business has come during the course of the programme, as well as to look to the future and the potential now before us.”
“Invest NI’s Propel programme enabled us to look critically at our business idea from an outsider’s perspective and focus on getting the right business model allowing us to operate on a global scale. It’s been a fantastic experience from start to finish and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough” Leona continued.
Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business Solutions, who presented the Award said: “The Propel programme has been developed to fast track high potential start-up businesses that have the ability to grow and helps to turn them into high growth, export focused businesses. In Plotbox we have found such a company, representing the best of innovation, drive and commitment, and I’d like to congratulate the management team on their success. Their innovative use of cloud based technology has brought new vigour to the genealogy market, and based on recent export sales figures the potential for growth is evident.”
“I would also like to extend my congratulations to all the participants celebrated at this event, who individually have shown fantastic dedication, and collectively shown the strength of Northern Ireland’s start-up potential.”
Niall Harkin, Head of Business Acquisition at sponsor Danske Bank, said: “Danske Bank is proud to sponsor the Invest NI Propel Programme Awards , which sit well alongside our commitment to supporting indigenous companies on their growth journey. With all the economic indicators now pointing towards a modest recovery, we must focus on securing sustainable economic growth locally by equipping businesses with the knowledge, skills and support they require to grow through innovation and development. All of the companies shortlisted for these awards are great examples of local high potential small businesses and we wish them well for the year ahead".