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upSTART 2017 - Applications open for 50k startup pitch competition

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by Startacus Admin

***Since original publication - the prize fund has been increased to a package of £150k! Click here for updated details!***

upSTART 2017 increased prize fund

In 2016, high potential start-ups from across Europe travelled to Belfast, a culturally diverse city full of opportunity and an appetite for growth and change. The start-ups battled for a now £150k prize in front of a panel of globally recognised judges.

The pitch event took part at Digital DNA, Ireland’s leading business and tech event held in Belfast.

To get a flavour of last years upSTART competition, check out the below short video: 

Startup Pitch Event Startacus

Startacus worked with Digital DNA last year to co-facilitate the pitch event and we are delighted to return this year as startup community partners to make sure this year’s upSTART pitch event is an even bigger success with an increase in participants and audience.

Applications are now open and you can apply by visiting the website:

The key key areas of industry interest have now been selected for upSTART 2017 and applications are especially welcomed for the following categories:

  • AI
  • Data
  • Cyber
  • Fintech
  • SaaS
  • IoT / Wearables
  • Wildcard (Innovative startups from other specialists verticals)
upSTART 2017 startup pitch event belfast

The Prize

The overall champion of upSTART Belfast will this year receive a mega cash prize of £10k, plus an additional 140k in valued prizes. See here for all the details on just that.

The startups that are selected to pitch over the two days will also have the opportunity to hold one-to-one meetings with investors and take part in a private networking social for startups & investors.

Key Criteria

  • Startups that apply can be at the concept, MVP or launched and trading stage.
  • Both pre-investment and post-investment startups, who have raised less than £1 Million will be suitable to apply.
  • Startups who have been trading for less than 36 months can apply.
  • It is free to pitch at Digital DNA 2017

Applications are now open, and for more information on upSTART 2017 including the categories, prizes and criteria, visit

Good luck to all that apply and we look forward to meeting and speaking to as many startups as possible at upSTART 2017! 

upSTART 2017 timeline

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Published on: 15th March 2017

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