IgniteNI, the leading accelerator in Northern Ireland, is now open to applications to its annual Accelerator Programme, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.
The intensive programme, which provides start-ups with funding and mentorship, is seeking applicants both internationally and from within Northern Ireland.
Based in Belfast, the accelerator will run for three months beginning in March 2021 and host ten seed-stage companies that can demonstrate current traction and the potential for future growth.
Through the accelerator programme, IgniteNI will introduce participants to a network of entrepreneurs and investors who provide guidance and advice on how to grow start-ups into viable and scalable businesses.
In addition to mentorship, participants will also have access to IgniteNI’s community of more than 150 founders to expand their networks and leverage even more expertise.
Successful applicants will receive £23,000 in funding, with an additional £5,000 and Visa support for overseas teams relocating to Northern Ireland.
There will also be opportunities for Accelerator graduates to spend an additional three months post-programme in San Francisco with office space, travel and accommodation costs covered, with the support of Invest NI.
Since the Accelerator programme was launched in 2017, IgniteNI’s Alumni companies have gone on to raise £15 million in pre-seed and seed stage funding, attracting a wide range of investors.
“Despite the pandemic, we witnessed some incredible feats by founders this year. They were forced to change direction, shift markets and work even harder to raise money. As a result of their resilience and adaptability, our alumni have raised nearly six times more money this year from top-class investors and are growing faster than ever before,” says Chris McClelland, programme director of IgniteNI.
“It sets the scene for an explosion of successful start-ups in 2021 and we’d like to help. New opportunities have opened up, there’s a deluge of talent available, and early-stage funding is becoming more accessible. The accelerator exists to help ambitious founders build global businesses, regardless of their current location, to raise money and build meaningful and successful businesses. We want to encourage all early-stage technology companies to apply for our next accelerator.”
One of the many start-ups that has participated in the IgniteNI Accelerator is Cloudsmith, which went on to raise £2.1 million in seed funding shortly after completing the three-month programme. Alan Carson, co-founder and CEO of Cloudsmith, said: “IgniteNI have revitalised the opportunities for start-ups in Northern Ireland through expert advice, key introductions and continued support. Their innate ability to build a strong and diverse founder community is clear for all to see.”
Applications for the 2021 Ignite Accelerator Programme can be made here until 17 January 2021.
Prospective applicants can get in touch at email@example.com if they have any questions.