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Introduction to Belfast- A Startup City
by Startacus Admin
Today is a rather special day at Startacus.net… it heralds the beginning of a year long series during which we will be holding a magnifying glass up to 12 of the UK and Ireland’s most burgeoning startup cities.
In the pipeline and already under preparation are our month long examinations of Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Shefield, Bristol, Edinburgh and Swansea. But back to the moment in hand and a quick intro to the city which will become the apple of our eye during May…
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland with around 650,000 people living within the city’s urban area. It is located along the province’s East coast flanked on one side by mountains and Belfast Lough on the other, straddling the border between Counties Antrim and Down. It has been the centre of Northern Ireland’s economy since the 19th Century when it blossomed into one of the world's major industrial centres on the back of its linen, rope-making, tobacco, heavy engineering and shipbuilding businesses.
For obvious reasons, the city has had a more difficult time than most in recent decades, with a lack of inward investment, economic hardship and extreme political instability all playing their role in the creation of a largely negative perception in the rest of the country. However, despite these factors (or perhaps because of them), Belfast is now a city filled with people who are making genuine and determined strides towards improving their lives and the existence of their community. It is a place which has dragged itself through the proverbial mud and come out the other side with a smile on its face, an indelible optimism and total determination for improvement…as anyone who has visited it will surely tell you.
Belfast is barely recognisable from the city it was 25 years ago…phrases like this are often uttered with regards to places which have seen drastic change within a short space of time… but rarely, we think, is the sentiment so sincerely justified.
The city’s startup scene is a great example of the self-starter spirit which has been key in its transformation and is why we have chosen Belfast to be our inaugural Startup City.
Over the next four weeks we’ll be bringing you news, events, features and other happenings from this vibrant, ambitious, innovative and highly motivated community that is developing at a rapid pace. Links to all the features will be posted on this page as they are published so be sure to keep an eye out.
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