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Northern Ireland programme Aims to Propel your Startup

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by Startacus Admin

The Northern Ireland based Propel programme, an intensive 12-month accelerator of sorts, aimed at fast tracking innovative startups (and offering up to £20k in finance) is back! Here are all the details...

Anyone who visits Startacus regularly will know we have a healthy interest in the startup scene in NI (in fact today alone we've featured some news on NI based Startacus member Stephen Henderson and his drumkit in a box project).

From our recent month long celebration of Belfast startups as part of our Startup Cities feature to our recent interviews with startups Receet and Sixty-5 we reckon there's lots happening in NI right now that is worth showcasing and highlighting.

Something that is certainly worth highlighting is Invest NI's Propel Programme (which incidentally both Receet and Sixty-5 went through). It's an intensive 12-month accelerator of sorts, aimed at fast tracking propel programmeinnovative startups to develop their business ideas, develop intensive growth plans and explore global prospects (phew not much then)! Why highlight it now? Well...applications are now open to join the next cohort of participants that will run from November...

Propel provides participants with a series of challenging business development workshops, valuable advice from local and international business experts, introductions to potential investors and one-to-one bespoke guidance through mentorship work - oh, and up to £20k worth of financial support too - didn’t want to omit that one!

Apart from reading our recent interviews with Receet and sixty-5 to find out a little more about the type of startups they evidently look for, we thought best to get to the nitty gritty and actually tell you what type of criteria the folk at Propel look for and apply when short listing applications...

So included in the criteria are:

  • Participants must establish their business in NI

  • Participant on Propel must be the CEO/founder of the business

  • Participants must be fully committed to the Propel programme during Phase 2Propel Porgramme NI

  • Participants must not have participated in Invest NI’s previous Propel or Transform programmes with the same business proposal

  • Participants must be over 18 years of age

  • The business idea must be innovative

  • If the business is already established it should be trading for no longer than 2 years

  • The business should have significant growth potential, with a target annualised growth of at least 20% in a number of key performance areas by year three

  • The business should have significant market opportunity (£250k turnover by year three), particularly in international markets, with a target of at least 50% of sales to be in external markets by year three

  • The business must be capable of creating jobs in Northern Ireland and within the next three years

  • The product must be at least at prototype stage, capable of commercialisation in the next 6-9 months

  • A management team with a strong track record should be planned or already in place

  • There must be a realistic expectation that the funding required to grow the business can be accessed

Of course apart from the above criteria, there's lots of other stuff to consider too, so go take a look at the Invest NI link for all that.

Also, during September, Invest NI will run a number of Propel Programme seminars across NI, and since the next programme kicks off in November, you'd be wise not to take too long to consider applying - competition will be fierce after all and that closing date will be here before you know it!

Check all the Propel Programme details here too and good luck to all you good folk who apply.


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Published on: 10th August 2014

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