Start-ups chosen for accelerator programme
Twenty-one Northern Ireland start-ups have been chosen for Ignite NI's Propel Pre-Accelerator programme.
The organisation runs the six-month scheme with the support of economic development agency Invest NI.
Ignite NI said it had received more than 400 applications for the programme - the highest number since the initiative was launched.
It added that the high level of interest was "a good sign for Northern Ireland's entrepreneurial ecosystem".
Propel programme director Chris McClelland said the initiative was one of the best of its kind in the world.
"To see so many people starting businesses in Northern Ireland is fantastic," he explained.
"It's made the programme as competitive as some of the top accelerators in the world."
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Among the firms chosen for the programme are Machine Eye, Lowdown and Integra.
The companies come from all corners of Northern Ireland, from the north-west to Newry.
A variety of sectors including healthcare, agriculture, artificial intelligence, developer tools and education are also represented.
The firms picked for the scheme will receive a £15,000 grant and 12 months' free co-working space at Ormeau Baths in Belfast.
They will also receive support and mentoring from a number of seasoned entrepreneurs.