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upSTART Prize Increase and Judges Announced

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by Startacus Admin

upSTART Belfast Two pieces of exciting news about the Startup Pitch Battle upSTART Belfast taking place at DigitalDNA on the 8th June (You can apply to take part here)  

The Prize is Growing and the application deadline has been extended! 

We are delighted to announce that the winner’s prize continues to grow and is now valued at £50K.

In the past few weeks the team have managed to secure a Golden Ticket to Dream Builder (by Wonka Lab) a 4-week startup programme in Los Angeles valued at £15K.

Over a 30 day period, 25 startups will live and work together to build, launch and grow their companies. The Dream Builder programme brings together a team of entrepreneurs, investors, executives and partners from around the world.  The winner of upSTART Belfast will be given one of just 25 Golden Tickets which are scattered Willy Wonka-style across the globe.

We are also pleased that the Founder of Wonka Labs, Michael Murphy will be on the Judging panel of upSTART Belfast. Throughout his career, Michael has managed ground-breaking research operations, laboratories and technology commercialisation at some of the world's most prestigious institutions, including Harvard and the University of Southern California.  He told us why he was so keen to get involved in the upSTART pitch battle.  

"It was immediately clear to us that there is great synergy between upSTART / Digital DNA and Wonka Lab's core aims to identify, showcase, and reward startups that have the potential to become high-impact businesses.

From the beginning, Wonka Lab has set out to disrupt startup acceleration globally. Our objective is to assist start-ups in a meaningful way by bringing them together to share knowledge and gain access to resources they would not otherwise have.  That's why we've created Dream Builder.

We are delighted to be sponsoring upSTART and we are looking forward to awarding a Golden Ticket to Dream Builder this September in Los Angeles. Dream Builder is an all new startup building program and filmed web series, that will showcase 25 startups from around the world and their building adventure. Startups can apply to audition at for a chance to win a Golden Ticket.”

Here’s a full rundown of the prizes the winner will get;

  • Cash Prize of £5,000upSTART Belfast

  • Golden Ticket to Dream Builder 4 week programme by Wonka Lab in California

  • One day strategy session with Deloitte Ventures team in London

  • Six month accountancy support from Deloitte- see details here

  • Exhibition space and two VIP passes to Digital DNA 2017

  • Access to the Digital DNA Trade Mission to San Francisco & Palo Alto in March 2017

  • Startacus Platform - Business Case Study

  • PR consultancy support 1 day per month for 6 months

  • Six months of Legal consultancy provided by Mills Selig

  • A two hour masterclass & discussion around Crowdfunding from Seedrs Campaign Success Manager

  • The Tycoon branding consultancy package from Brandsworth- see details here

  • The opportunity to engage directly with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni during the main Digital DNA programme

  • The opportunity to have private one-to-one meetings with investors

  • The opportunity to engage with industry experts in a hands-on and personalised environment

  • A private networking opportunity for startups & investors

World-Class Judging Panel

Alongside the team at Digital DNA we have assembled a fantastic team of judges who will be casting their expert eyes over the pitching startups at upSTART Belfast.

Eleanor McEvoy- CEO | Budget Energy, RTE Dragon's Den

Pete Hempsall- CTO | Deloitte Ventures

Mary McKenna- Kicking Assets

Kerry Ritz- Managing Director | MassChallenge

Omar Hassan CEO | Inevert

Michael Murphy Founder | WonkaLab

Sean Duffy Programme Director | EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Andy McCartney Founder | Whitespace Ventures

Frank Webster Campaign Director | Seedrs

upSTART Belfast
To celebrate the growing prize fund and that the Judges have been announced - we are also extending the application closing date to the 15th May (and the number of startups that will pitch) so you still have time to get your application in. Good luck! 

You can find out all the info you will need to apply for 
upSTART Belfast here.


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Published on: 5th May 2016

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