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upSTART, the startup pitch competition at Digital DNA returns for 2018

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by Startacus Admin

upSTART 18
upSTART, the startup pitch competition that brings together a whole host of top UK, Irish and European tech startups, Investors and Judges is BACK for 2018 at Digital DNA.


Now in its third year, upSTART once again returns to annual leading Irish business and tech two-day conference, Digital DNA which upSTART 2018hosts over 3,000 delegates from across the world in Belfast City, Northern Ireland - this year on the 19th and 20th June.

Hosted by Startacus (that’s us) the one-day pitch competition will play out over 2 rounds, starting with approx 25 disruptive startups and culminating with 1 eventual winner who will walk away with a £5k cash prize and a whole host of partner prizes. 

Startups will also be given the opportunity to exhibit their startup for the whole two days of the event, take part in an investor and judges networking social, as well as 1-2-1 investor meetings.

There will be a guaranteed £5k cash prize to the winning upSTART 2018 startup, plus a whole host of winner prizes which will be announced over the coming weeks.

Digital DNA and Startacus
What upSTART 18 will be looking for...

  • AI, Data, AR and VR, Fintech, Wearable Tech / IoT, Cyber Security, SaaS  with an additional wildcard section for any tech / digital startup that can demonstrate innovation and high-growth potential.

  • Both pre and post-investment startups (under £750k) will be eligible to apply.

  • Startups must be able to clearly demonstrate how their innovation has the potential to disrupt the marketplace.

  • Startups who apply to pitch must be available to be in Belfast during the period of Digital DNA 2018 on the 19th and 20th June 2018.

  • Applications to pitch at upSTART at Digital DNA 2018 are now open. Apply here.

The good news is that It is once again FREE to pitch at upSTART at Digital DNA 2018 and all shortlisted startups will be given one free ticket to attend the two day Digital DNA event.

Last year the upSTART competition was fierce and over the coming weeks we will be sharing the legacy of upSTART to date. But to give you some indication of quality, 2017 pitching startups inlcuded Good-LoopKodama, ProtectBoxSmall Robot Company, Wia, Locate a Locum, Kompas, WeSavvy Nova Leah and 2017 winner startup exhibition space Digital DNAReposit.


Also this year, alongside the opportunity to pitch your startup at Digital DNA, startups can also apply to exhibit on a pod in the dedicated upSTART startup and showcasing area, network with sponsors and be part of the buzz and excitement with dedicated upSTART podcasts, studio sessions and sponsor interviews.

Read here for full criteria and T&C’s and to find out more about upSTART 2018 and Digital DNA visit their dedicated upSTART 2018 information page. 

To make that all important application you can also head straight to our F6S application page and for a flavour of what you can expect at Digital DNA 2018, check out this short video below of the 2017 event. Good luck to all! 


Digital DNA 2017 overview





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Published on: 9th April 2018

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