Ambitious tech entrepreneurs venture on to Ignite NI’s first Propel pre-accelerator.

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  • Twenty aspiring Northern Ireland technology innovators have taken their first entrepreneurial steps by embarking on Ignite NI’s Propel pre-accelerator programme.

    The Ignite NI Propel pre-accelerator programme, which is now under way - offers early stage technology companies the chance to develop their business, providing support and advice during a six month programme.

    Participants who secured a place on the programme receive a £15,000 grant, 12 months free co-working space at Ormeau Baths and some of the best mentoring and advice on offer from start-up experts and investors.

    The team at Ignite NI have accelerated more than 100 startups since 2011 and has a strong track record selecting and supporting promising companies.

    Cormac Quinn, CEO of LoyalBe, is one of entrepreneurs taking part in the Ignite NI Propel programme, where he is developing a digital loyalty app.

    “Without the Ignite NI Propel programme, I would have never been able to quit my job and embark on this journey.  I’ve always wanted to start my own technology company but it wasn’t until I discovered the Ignite Propel programme that I felt empowered to take that step. The one-to-one mentorship we have received is an invaluable part of the process.

    The LoyalBe app will provide small-medium sized merchants, who currently have a non-digital loyalty scheme, greater access to the digital market.

    “LoyalBe is a practical response to frustration in the market. We found that consumers were irritated by non-digital loyalty schemes, while retailers weren’t able to extract any market insight from a paper loyalty scheme,” explains Cormac. 

    The Propel programme’s specialist mentoring involves a group of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) running sessions with the Propel teams, guiding them through the startup process.

    Ian Browne, Ignite NI EIR, is currently working alongside the Ignite NI Propel teams.

    “I am more than impressed with the quality and ambition of companies selected which, with the experience and backing of Ignite and Invest NI, provides a platform for success which will filter into the local ecosystem.  I have no doubt this is going to be a launch pad for local companies as successful businesses of the future.”

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