Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's inventors in awards invitation

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland's smartest inventors are being called upon to enter this year's Invent awards programme. And SkunkWorks Surf Company, which makes surfboards, said its business had thrived since winning a category at the 2015 awards.

Its business development manager Ricky Martin said: "Winning our category in the Invent competition was a watershed moment for SkunkWorks. It definitely helped to speed up our success."

Invent is sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK - and regional director Ian Sheppard said it strongly believed in Catalyst Inc's vision of making Northern Ireland an entrepreneurial knowledge economy.

He said he had felt inspired by a tour of SkunkWorks' factory on the north coast.

"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."

Catalyst Inc said taking part in the competition can offer high-profile expenditure, and validation of the market for your idea.

Winners can also take part in a tech mission to California, and a share of a £33,000 prize fund.

Philip McIntosh of Jumpack won the award last year for his portable skateboard jump.

He 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."

For more information on Invent 2017, visit

Belfast Telegraph