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£50k up for grabs at Newry tech and innovation conference start-up competition

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by Startacus Admin

Ascend start-up pitch competition
A couple of weeks ago we announced that one Early-stage Irish start-up will walk away with £50,000-worth of cash and business support at the Innovation Nation 2018 Ascend Start-up Competition. Applications now close asap!

The inaugural tech and innovation conference taking place in Newry on 27th September has teamed up with leading startup platform Startacus (that's us!) to deliver the all-island irish pitch competition where up to 12 early-stage startups will be given a platform to showcase their latest innovation.

The Ascend Start-up Competition will see Irish startups (both North and South) with high growth potential from the digital and tech sectors taking to the stage to pitch their business to a panel of industry leaders and enterprise experts, as well as in front of the Innovation Nation 2018 attendees. 

Apply here - closing date is Friday 14th September

The winning start-up, to be announced at the Innovation Nation 2018 Dinner on Thursday 27th September at the Newry Town Hall, will receive a cash prize of £3,000, as part of a wider £50,000 package of high value corporate and professional services. 

Ascend start-up competition

The Ascend judging panel is made up of Kevin McGivern of Kx, Ashleen Feeney of KPMG in Northern Ireland, Fiona McElroy of Ulster University, Garrett O’Hare of Flexi Work Space and Drew O’Sullivan of InterTradeIreland.

Kevin McGivern of Kx commented: “We are thrilled to be supporting Innovation Nation 2018, and in particular the Ascend Start-up Competition, which will celebrate and highlight the wealth of entrepreneurial talent across the island of Ireland.  

“With a significant prize package worth over £50,000, the winning start-up will receive industry-leading professional and business advisory services from some of the event’s key sponsors, and I have no doubt Ascend will prove a success at the inaugural Innovation Nation.”

Cllr Mark Murnin, chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council added: “We are pleased to offer a platform for the significant level of start-up talent that exists across the Newry, Mourne and Down district, and indeed across the island of Ireland.

Innovation Nation 2018, which is being run by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and a number of supporting partners from the public and private sectors, will show how organisations can use the latest innovations and technology to drive their businesses and will shine a light on the burgeoning tech scene in Newry and the surrounding area. 

The Innovation Nation 2018 conference will take place on the 27th & 28th September, with the second day delivered in partnership with Catalyst Inc. which is lending its expertise to shape an exciting programme for up to 300 school children from 10 schools across the Council area.

To apply for the Ascend Start-up Competition, & for more info on the criteria, visit

Apply asap as the closing date to apply is Friday 14th September!

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Published on: 5th September 2018

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