1st June 2022
Catalyst has revealed the ten innovative start-ups who have secured their place in the final of INVENT 2022, Northern Ireland’s premier event for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs.
INVENT is an annual competition organised by science and technology hub Catalyst with headline partner Bank of Ireland, which showcases and rewards the local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.
The event aims to shine a spotlight on some of the brightest new business ideas in the region, allowing ambitious entrepreneurs to gain high profile exposure and recognition that can help them attract further funding, new customers and partners.
The finalists have the chance to take home a share of the £47,000 prize fund, with a £25,000 first prize up for grabs for the overall winner.
The 2022 award categories align with pressing and important global matters while also providing an opportunity to capture great ideas from across the full spectrum of innovation in Northern Ireland.
The finalists selected include a diverse range of ideas and innovators. They are:
Greentech: Plaswire Ltd; Phasora Ltd
Health and Wellbeing: Mind-Mapper Ltd; Pulse AI
Product: Field of Vision; Vikela Armour
Consumer Software: Link; Academic Fish Ltd
Business Software: Thunder; Allergy Act
Last year’s winner was Coleraine-based StimOxyGen. The company has developed technology that enhances the effects of cancer treatment by overcoming the problem of hypoxia in solid tumours. It uses oxygen generating nanoparticles to generate transient oxygen within solid tumours and has the potential to improve the efficacy of many cancer treatments and transform patient outcomes across the world.
A number of previous INVENT winners have used the competition as a platform to start scaling their businesses, with alumni including the likes of CropSafe, which recently announced it had raised $3m in seed funding, and Overwatch Research, which was acquired by US tech company Benchling earlier this year.
Elaine Smyth, Director of Innovation Community at Catalyst, said: “Invent provides a unique opportunity for early-stage companies to showcase their ideas to the best in the business. The standard of the competition entries gets better every year, making it increasingly difficult for the judges. I feel inspired by the innovation, creative thinking and knowledge showcased by our ten finalists and it really highlights the talent the Northern Ireland tech sector has to offer.”
Niall Devlin, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “Selecting this year’s INVENT finalists from the talented semi-finalists presented to the judging panel was a very tough task. Their brilliant business ideas were truly inspirational. It’s amazing to see their vision, creative thinking, knowledge, skills and ambition. We have selected 10 amazing finalists that showcase the depth and quality of Northern Ireland’s future business leaders, each offering innovative ideas with global potential. Congratulations to all the finalists as they progress through the remaining stages of the competition. I look forward to the Final Awards evening in September.”
Each INVENT category winner will receive £5,000, with the overall winner taking home an additional £20,000. Additional prizes of £1,000 will be awarded to the best student application and best elevator pitch delivered on the night.
The INVENT 2022 final, the biggest celebration of the region’s start-up ecosystem, will take place on September 1st at the ICC Belfast. Tickets are now available at invent22.co.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Elaine Smyth, Director of Innovation Community at Catalyst and Niall Devlin, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK launch the 2022 INVENT Awards.
ABOUT THE FINALISTS:
Plaswire Limited: Replacing high carbon concrete with residual packaging waste - reducing incineration and landfill.
Phasora Ltd: State of the art sensor technology & Cloud services enabling electricity network operators to rapidly deploy precision sensor networks at scale, helping to reduce costs and deliver reliable cleaner energy to customers.
Health and Wellbeing
Mind-Mapper Ltd: Non-invasive wearable neuroimaging system that will record brain function and graph improvements across therapy sessions.
Pulse AI: Artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy, efficiency and scalability of Cardiac Diagnostics.
Vikela Armour: Body armour focused on comfort and providing complete protection for everyone. Vikela aims to have innovation at the forefront of the business and keep on top of manufacturing developments.
Field of Vision: Live sport for visually impaired fans, delivered through haptics and AI.
Linc: The world's first integrative, AI powered, smartphone sizing solution for the jewellery and watch markets. The Linc solution will increase revenue and reduce returns and carbon footprint.
Academic Fish Ltd: An inclusive, curriculum based math app by academics, for the understanding and translation of academic math language, initially between English Chinese and Irish, for post primary to university level education.
Thunder: Changing how businesses innovate by empowering teams to share their problems and ideas.
Allergy Act: Food safety and allergy management to support both the food industry and consumers.
Catalyst is an independent, not-for-profit organisation focused on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, supporting transformative businesses and developing Northern Ireland’s tech industry. It works with an extensive network of volunteers and partners to deliver programmes and provide support to the tech and start-up community. Catalyst’s new five year strategy, which is focused on inclusive innovation, can be found here.