The aptly named StartPlanet NI has just 10 spaces available, but their first call for startups has received 290 applications from 46 countries… the team certainly have their work cut out for them!
Funded by Invest Northern Ireland, this three-month programme was built to help high potential startups access early stage support and private equity investment. Uniquely it is setting out to bring together local NI startups with international startups on a 50/50 basis to build Northern Ireland’s next generation of world class businesses.
This is now a truly global business accelerator with startups and entrepreneurs from as far afield as Vietnam, The Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, El Salvador, Chile, Brazil, Estonia, France, Greece, Israel and Guatemala all vying for a spot on board!
Of the applications received 5 of those selected will be from the NI region whilst the other 5 will bring an international flavour to proceedings.
The accelerator will have its home inRevolution BFS, a purpose-designed accelerator and coworking space on Belfast’s Donegall Street. It is part of the global network of SOSventures Revolution co-working spaces which already have established presences in places like San Francisco, New York, and even Cork!
Wayne Murphy, Accelerator Manager, Start Planet NI said: “The application response for the first Start Planet NI is hugely encouraging. To have entrepreneurial teams from across the globe seek to make Northern Ireland their base is testament to the strength of the support being offered through this programme as well as the appeal of Northern Ireland as a place to do business.”
Each successful Start Planet NI company team will receive between £15,000 and £40,000 seed funding in return for an 8 % equity stake in their business. Uniquely, of that 8%, 2% will go towards a Founders’ Fund, which plans to generate shares in a pool made up of each company participating in the five year programme. The goal being that if in the not too distant future, one or more of the startups has a significant exit - all those in the ‘pool’ will benefit!.