Belfast Telegraph

Last chance for Northern Ireland start-up firms to win Invent cash

By Yvette Shapiro

Time is running out for technology entrepreneurs to enter the Invent competition, run by the Northern Ireland Science Park.

Invent challenges inventors, scientists and start-ups with proof-of-concepts and prototypes in science and technology to discover the commercial potential of their idea.

Entrants compete through rounds of pitching assessed by expert judges to win a share of the £33,000 prize fund, access to a global business and investment network and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California in January next year.

Last year's overall winner was PicoPUF, a Queen's University spin-out company. Its invention, a tiny semiconductor that provides strong, unique authentication for even the cheapest microchip, was deemed by the judges to be the most innovative product with the biggest global commercial potential.

Other category winners included brothers Ricky and Chris Martin of the surfboard company Skunkworks.

"The competition allowed us to test our ideas, get better connected within the entrepreneurial community and gave us great publicity," said Chris Martin.

Applications for the competition close at midnight tonight and the first qualifying pitches will be held later this month. The winners will be announced at the annual "night of invention" at the Invent Awards in September, attended by tech industry leaders.

Belfast Telegraph