Twelve entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland have secured their place in the final of Invent 2018, the prestigious annual competition from Connect at Catalyst Inc, supported by Bank Of Ireland UK.
The aim ofInvent is to discover the product with the greatest commercial potential and to showcase Northern Ireland’s rapidly developing Knowledge Economy. For 9 months, the Invent competition challenges and develops Northern Ireland’s innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and start-ups to develop their proof-of-concept ideas and prototypes.
Over 130 people came forward with their innovations this year and last night, over 300 people descended on the Waterfront Hall in Belfast to witness this year’s 24 Semi-Finalists pitch against each other for a highly coveted place in the final stage of the competition. The 12 finalists are now one step closer to winning a share of the £33,000 prize fund and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California with Catalyst Inc, in association with Invest NI.
Invent Programme Manager, Kerry McGarvey reflected on the evening of innovation:
“The quality of entries just gets better every year. Each team had just three minutes to convince the judges that their solution for the problem they identified has great commercial potential – our twelve finalists did an outstanding job and they are brilliant examples of NI’s booming knowledge economy.”
The Semi Final was sponsored by RPS Group and Managing Director, Dr. Michael Shaw commented:
“We are delighted to sponsor the Invent Semi Final. Invent showcases and highlights the wonderful talent and amazing innovations we have in Northern Ireland.”
The highly experienced judging panel on the night included James Foster, Transaction and Investment Lead at Accelerated Digital Venture, Devina Paul Partner with Galvanise, Mike Shaw Managing Director at RPS Group, Alison Crawford, Investment associate with Atlantic Bridge, Connor O’Connor, Managing Partner at Enterprise Equity and Gavin Kennedy, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK who said:
“The 24 inspirational teams passionately pitching their brilliant business ideas, vision and potential made the judges final selection a tough task. Year on year the depth and quality impresses and 2018 is no exception. The diverse innovations across a range of different categories, sectors and perspectives shows the future of innovation, commercial and entrepreneurial talent looks bright for Northern Ireland. On a personal note I was thrilled to get such a close insight into these young businesses of future.”
The climax of the competition will happen at the Awards Night on Thursday 11th October 2018 at Belfast Waterfront. Over 700 investors, entrepreneurs, executives, students and researchers will gather to hear the announcement of the winners.
Tickets are on sale now at www.invent2018.co
The chosen finalists of Invent 2018 have been announced as:
Creative Media and Consumer Internet
1. Machine Eye
1. Zero Waste Biotech
2. Gray’s Clip
2. Overwatch Research
Life and Health Sciences
1. Sono Targ
2. Micare Technologies