Max out your innovation's potential

Added Tuesday, February 14 2017

Invent 2017, the annual competition that showcases and rewards local innovations that promise great commercial potential, is open for applications. If you have an innovative product idea that you are passionate about, we want to hear from you.

Run by Connect at Catalyst Inc and sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK, Invent has been unlocking the potential of great ideas for over 10 years. Many of our finalists and winners are now successfully growing their innovation companies and exporting products and services around the globe.

SkunkWorks Surf Company, local manufacturers of long-life surfboards, is a recent winner that has seen their business thrive since their Invent success. Pictured above, Ricky Martin from Skunkworks said: “Winning our category in the Invent competition was a watershed moment for SkunkWorks. It definitely helped to speed up our success”.

“Bank of Ireland UK believes in Catalyst Inc’s vision for Northern Ireland to become one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies because we see the innovative talent and ambition within businesses every day. I was personally inspired when I met Ricky Martin of Skunkworks. When on a tour of their factory, I witnessed the positive impact their participation in INVENT two years ago has helped realise. They are one of many examples of local innovative entrepreneurial talent with ambition out there to be discovered and nurtured, and I encourage you to become part of this vibrant community” commented Ian Sheppard Regional Director Northern Ireland at Bank of Ireland UK.

It’s an opportunity to gain high-profile exposure; to market-validate your idea; unlock a quality network of influencers, and to be in with the chance of winning a place on the NI Tech Mission to California and a share of the £33,000 prize fund.

The highlight of the competition is the finale awards ceremony where over 600 business leaders and investors gather to explore NI’s best product ideas and discover who will be crowned the Invent 2017 winner.

Invent 2016 winner, Philip McIntosh of Jumpack said, “Invent was such an amazing experience for us and the entire journey has proved to be so valuable. We’re just home from the Tech Mission trip to California and the reaction to Jumpack was incredible. The process helped us to identify, understand and advance our business. I would encourage anyone with an idea in development to enter Invent as it will accelerate your chances of success.”

Steve Orr, Director at Connect said: “Having a breakthrough idea counts for nothing if it never sees the light of day. That’s why we would encourage everyone with novel product ideas to enter Invent 2017. It will help you realise the full potential of your innovation.”

For more information on Invent 2017 visit