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Northern Ireland Startup Support Organisations
by Startacus Admin
The Startup ecosystem of the UK really is a diverse and varied place, with each of the 4 home nations sharing many of the same support networks. However on a more local level there are certain organisations which provide help and advice specifically for people within their country. Over the course of the next month we will be taking a look at some of the major startup support providers available within Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.
First up though is Northern Ireland, the smallest nation of the UK, and the only one to share a land border with another country. This, along with its relative distance from its Great Britain counterparts, has resulted in the development of a very unique startup ecosystem, with a distinctive network of startup support.
Over the past few weeks we have been taking a close look at some of the startup and business happenings in Northern Ireland, including how Derry City and Strabane District Council have been leading the way in implementing initiatives to help boost the digital economy of their area through their ‘Growing the Digital Economy Programme’ and also their upcoming digital conference ‘Digital Derry’ which is taking place in the city on the 24th and 25th of June.
We have had the pleasure of attending MoneyConf and EnterConf, the newest business technology events from the creators of the world-renowned WebSummit, which have taken place in Belfast over the last few weeks. We have also spoken quite a bit about the new Global business accelerator StartPlanet NI, which will be running for the next 5 years, and which opens its doors in September.
Now the theme continues with our look at some of the Startup support available within Northern Ireland.
Invest NI is the Northern Ireland Executive's official regional business development agency, and plays a major role in the provision of business and startup support, as well as the growth of the NI economy through business development and inward investment. As part of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, they can provide a wide range of support to your business including developing your strategy, improving your skills, operating efficiently, finding funding, finding new markets, and developing your products/services.
Most recently Invest NI have been involved in the creation of a new global accelerator programme called StartPlanet NI that hopes to establish Northern Ireland as a global hub for high potential startups. InterTradeIreland InterTradeIreland work both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to nurture businesses through initiatives centred on innovation and trade. Like InvestNI they were created in a joint effort by the countries’ respective enterprise departments, namely the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, and Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland.
The usually work with Manufacturing and Tradable Services companies and help them through the provision of intelligence, funding, and contacts. For example, their annual Seedcorn Investment Readiness competition, mimics the investment process, and manages to provide businesses with all 3 of these benefits.
For a better idea of what they are all about, you can check out our recent interview with the competition project manager Connor Sweeney.
Enterprise NI is one of the country's core startup and small business support providers, with a goal to help enterprises grow and develop. Their mission statement places them as a moderating force, acting on behalf of the business community, making sure that their voice is heard within the devolved Stormont executive.
Alongside this work, they also have a range of services which cover essential enterprise related areas including; continual professional development, networking events, joint purchasing, business development, policy papers, research, and quality assurance.
NI Business Info
Created by Invest NI and NI direct, NI Business Info is a really comprehensive source of information for the startup and small / medium business owner in Northern Ireland.
Amongst their encyclopaedic range of resources you will find up-to-date business news, as well as tips on starting up, finance and grants, tax, payroll and company information, employment and skills, workplace health and safety, environment and efficiency, premises and property, intellectual property, and much more besides.
Startup Ireland is a growing, independent, not-for-profit organisation that is developing a community across the island of Ireland. Specifically they are becoming a representation of the island’s startup sector and want to grow a world-class startup ecosystem that will make Ireland the best place in the world to establish a high impact technology startup.
On a micro level, they are making it simpler for startups and established businesses across the island, and within specific cities, enabling them to connect with each other and keep up to date with the various events happening.
Noribic (The Northern Ireland Business and Innovation Centre)
Noribic has 30 years of experience supporting enterprise in Northern Ireland, and have todate helped over 500 businesses to form and grow. Like all the other organisations we have listed here, they are a not-for-profit and are the only organisation of their kind in Northern Ireland. Some of the things they do include;
Provide mentoring and business coaching to SMEs, micro-businesses and startups.
Provide Innovation consulting for those with new products and business models
Undertake European and Government funded projects
Manage a Business Incubator facility and provide support for incumbent micro-businesses.
Last but not least, Startacus!
Did you know that Startacus HQ is located in Northern Ireland? Since being founded over 3 years ago we have been lucky to call the beautiful city of Derry the home of our UK, Ireland, and indeed global community for startups, self starters, and entrepreneurs. We offer a great range of tips, advice, support, and inspiration for the enterprising individual, as well as business deals, event ticket-giveaways, and much more! Come join the self-start society.
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