Catalyst has revealed the ten innovative start-ups who have secured their place in the final of INVENT 2022, Northern Ireland’s premier event for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs.
INVENT is an annual competition organised by science and technology hub Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, which showcases and rewards the local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.
The event aims to shine a spotlight on some of the brightest new business ideas in the region, allowing ambitious entrepreneurs to gain high profile exposure and recognition that can help them attract further funding, new customers and partners.
The finalists have the chance to take home a share of the £47,000 prize fund, with a £25,000 first prize up for grabs for the overall winner.
The 2022 award categories align with pressing and important global matters while also providing an opportunity to capture great ideas from across the full spectrum of innovation in Northern Ireland.
The finalists selected include a diverse range of ideas and innovators. They are:
Greentech: Plaswire Ltd; Phasora Ltd
Health and Wellbeing: Mind-Mapper Ltd; Pulse AI
Product: Field of Vision; Vikela Armour
Consumer Software: Link; Academic Fish Ltd
Business Software: Thunder; Allergy Act
Last year’s winner was Coleraine-based StimOxyGen. The company has developed technology that enhances the effects of cancer treatment by overcoming the problem of hypoxia in solid tumours. It uses oxygen generating nanoparticles to generate transient oxygen within solid tumours and has the potential to improve the efficacy of many cancer treatments and transform patient outcomes across the world.
A number of previous INVENT winners have used the competition as a platform to start scaling their businesses, with alumni including the likes of CropSafe, which recently announced it had raised $3m in seed funding, and Overwatch Research, which was acquired by US tech company Benchling earlier this year.
Elaine Smyth, Director of Innovation Community at Catalyst, said: “Invent provides a unique opportunity for early-stage companies to showcase their ideas to the best in the business. The standard of the competition entries gets better every year, making it increasingly difficult for the judges. I feel inspired by the innovation, creative thinking and knowledge showcased by our ten finalists and it really highlights the talent the Northern Ireland tech sector has to offer.”
Niall Devlin, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “Selecting this year’s INVENT finalists from the talented semi-finalists presented to the judging panel was a very tough task. Their brilliant business ideas were truly inspirational. It’s amazing to see their vision, creative thinking, knowledge, skills and ambition. We have selected 10 amazing finalists that showcase the depth and quality of Northern Ireland’s future business leaders, each offering innovative ideas with global potential. Congratulations to all the finalists as they progress through the remaining stages of the competition. I look forward to the Final Awards evening in September.”
Each INVENT category winner will receive £5,000, with the overall winner taking home an additional £20,000. Additional prizes of £1,000 will be awarded to the best student application and best elevator pitch delivered on the night.
The INVENT 2022 final, the biggest celebration of the region’s start-up ecosystem, will take place on September 1st at the ICC Belfast. Tickets are now available at invent22.co.