12 tech innovators have secured their places in the finals of INVENT 2016, the Northern Ireland Science Park’s prestigious annual competition, following a tense Semi-Finals pitch fest supported by Deloitte Digital.
A packed audience assembled in W5 last night to watch 24 semi-finalists pitch for a place in the finals and the opportunity to win a share of the £33,000 prize fund and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California.
The judging panel included Mark Dowds, a Co Down-born Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, who has recently secured $25.5M in funding to launch the world’s first on-demand insurance platform, Trov Inc. and Howard Colvin, also from Northern Ireland, who is CEO of Rudolf Wolff Ltd, a specialist London based fund management firm.
INVENT 2016 is a showcase for Northern Ireland’s rapidly developing knowledge economy. It challenges inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists and startups with proof-of-concepts and prototypes in science and technology to discover the commercial potential of their idea.
This year the competition received 100 entries across 6 categories of Agri-Science, Creative Media and Consumer Internet, Electronics, Engineering, Enterprise Software and Life and Health.
INVENT programme manager, Peter Edgar, explained, “The Semi-Finals of INVENT are all about our teams telling the stories of their breakthrough ideas. We’re looking for inventions which have the potential to change an industry or solve a global problem. Each company had just three minutes to convince the judges that their technology has the potential to succeed – our twelve finalists did an amazing job and they are brilliant examples of NI’s booming knowledge economy”.
Kieran O’Neill, Talent and Innovation Leader at Deloitte Digital, said: “Deloitte is proud to be supporting the Northern Ireland Science Park as it works to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage a new generation of inventive business founders. The right ecosystem is an all-important stimulus for innovation and Deloitte is contributing to that by providing expertise and opening our network to local entrepreneurs.”
“Innovation doesn’t just happen, we have to create an environment that makes it part of our culture, cultivates it and invests in it, if our knowledge economy is to flourish in the long term. We look forward to hearing more from all of the INVENT 2016 finalists as they strive to become the next big thing.”
The finalists of INVENT 2016 are:
E+press An app for a non-verbal method of contacting emergency services
Locate a Locum An online platform connecting pharmacists with employers across the UK
Embed An emergency bed made entirely of cardboard for those in need
JumPack A modular, lightweight and wearable extreme sports launch ramp
Oran Oak An enclosed sheep dipping unit
Purple Magic A coloured flesh potato variety with high levels of anthcyanins
Take Ten Technology to simplify the process of managing stress
Kraydel A device to alert behaviour changes of elderly people in their home
PayOx Enables drivers to pay for petrol by using their car registration plate as a payment device
Point Energy A novel energy & health monitoring system for polymer processing
Elemental Cloud-based health software for community health stakeholders
The Shield Centralised security control panel for Wordpress
The climax of the competition is the INVENT Awards, sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK, at the Belfast Waterfront on Thursday September 29 2016. Over 600 investors, entrepreneurs, executives and top research scientists will gather to hear the announcement of the winners. Tickets are on sale now