2017 applications now open

What is Invent?


Invent is an annual competition that showcases and rewards local innovations that promise the greatest potential. It’s an opportunity to gain high-profile exposure; to market-validate your idea; to unlock a quality network of influencers and to win a place on the NI Tech Mission to California. There’s also a prize fund of £33,000 shared by the winners.

The competition is not just about the winners. Each entrant benefits from the experience of pitching in front of panels of expert judges.

If you have any questions relating to INVENT 2017 please contact our Invent Programme Manager via email on or via telephone on 028 90 737 792.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on Invent 2017:

Twitter: @CIConnect
Facebook: @CIConnect

You can also follow our hashtag #Invent2017

Who should apply?

If you have come up with a product idea that you are passionate about, we want to help you unlock its potential. This competition is open to anyone with an innovative idea, from students, postgrads and researchers through to executives with side projects and retired people with a solution spanning one of the following categories.


Why should you apply?

This is an opportunity to take your innovation to the next level through:

At each stage of Invent you will be pitching your idea to technical and commercial experts who will provide invaluable sector-specific feedback to help improve your chances of success. We want to help you aim higher and succeed faster.

As you progress through the competition process, your product idea will be promoted through our extensive digital and traditional marketing coverage. This helps place your brand in the spotlight and get you the recognition you deserve.

The greatest strength of the Invent competition is the opportunity to get your idea in front of our global network of investors, partners, key influencers and the media.

You could win a share of our £33,000 prize fund and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California.

“Invent was such an amazing experience for us and the entire journey has proved to be so valuable. The process helped us to identify, understand and fine tune the weaker areas of our business...I would encourage anyone with an idea in development to have a very close look at Invent as there are genuine rewards to be gained at every stage.”
Philip McIntosh, Jumpack

How to apply

Simply fill out our online application form by Friday 31st March 2017. Click here to apply.
If you have any questions, please contact Kerry McGarvey via email or telephone on 028 90 737 792

Terms and conditions are available here

Key dates to note:

Closing date for applications – 31st March 2017
Qualifying Rounds – 24th- 27th April 2017
Semi Final – 18th May 2017
Mentor Day – 31st May 2017
Final Pitches (12 finalists) – 7th September 2017
Invent Awards Dinner – 5th October 2017

2016 Winners


Invented by Philip McIntosh (Downpatrick) and Mike Crowe (Belfast), Jumpack is a tough, portable and foldable extreme sports jump ramp. It enables BMXers or skateboarders to 'get air anywhere'.

Overall Winner & Engineering Category Winner

Take Ten

Founded by Fintan Connolly (Belfast), Take Ten is a gaming app that monitors stress levels through real-time biofeedback, allowing users to regulate and manage their anxiety.

Life & Health Category Winner

Point Energy

Founded by Prof. Kang Li, Dr. Joe Devlin and Dr.Jing Deng based in QUB. It provides an energy-saving service to the manufacturing industry through monitoring every component's energy use in a factory.

Electronics Category Winner


Founded by Leeann Monk (Derry) and Jennifer Neff (Dubai), Elemental is cloud based software that enables social prescribing connecting patients and clinicians with community health providers.

Enterprise Software Category Winner

Oran Oak

'Dip Fast' was created by the Kelly Family of Beragh, County Tyrone. Sheep dipping is a necessary, but time consuming and labour intensive process. Dip Fast's moulded sheep-showering unit improves efficiency while reducing health and safety risks. Agri-Science Category Winner

Locate a Locum

Founded by Jonny Clarke and Michael Budden from Belfast, Locate a Locum helps pharmacies source locum online who are available and eligible to work.

Creative & Consumer Internet Category Winner

Innovation Founder Award

Connect is future-focused, but that’s not to say we can’t learn a thing or two from the past. Our annual Innovation Founders Award is given to a local innovator who has successfully pushed the possibility of their business idea beyond boundaries. They come from a wide variety of sectors but all share a common characteristic: having the tenacity and vision to develop home-grown innovation into remarkable success stories. They are all testament to the fact that in Northern Ireland we are as capable as anywhere in the world at creating outstanding breakthrough businesses.

Steering Team

Clare Passmore


David Brownlee

HSC Innovations

Neil Buchanan


Kathleen Garrett


Niamh Griffin

Bank Of Ireland UK

Andrew Jennings

Arthur Cox

John Macrae

Ulster University

Steven Orr

Deloitte Digital

Neasa Quigley

Carson Mc Dowell

Kathryn Walls

Mills Selig

Jason Wiggins