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Investors and industry pros announced as LEVELUP start-up pitch judges

09 April 2021

A judging panel of industry professionals and investors will decide which local start-up businesses will receive up to £2,000 in cash prizes when the LEVELUp Start-up Pitch Competition takes place later this month.

LEVELUP, delivered by Startacus, takes place during Derry and Strabane Enterprise Week and will examine the changes that businesses can make and the opportunities that exist to thrive in our new economy – whether as individuals, organisations or regions.

It will be held virtually on Wednesday 21st and Thursday April 22nd and will feature a series of inspirational sessions on six core themes: Smart Cities, Places and Rural Innovation, Retail and High Street, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Health and Wellness, Social Change and Diversity and Inclusion.

The LEVELUP pitch competition, which is co-sponsored by RealTime Recruitment will see up to 14 NI start-ups pitching online to the panel for their share of the cash prizes.

The judging panel includes Dave Graham - technologist at Dell Technologies and PhD Candidate at UCD's SMARTLab, Naomi Timperley - Co Founder of Tech North Advocates and experienced growth and innovation consultant and Dr Colin Keogh an award-winning Engineer, leader in the Irish start-up space and an active technology consultant and developer.

Also on the panel are Beth Glenfield - Product Manager at Puppet, Director for Women Who Code and scout for Ada Ventures, Audrey Osborne - Investor at Techstart Ventures LLP and former founding member of an Angel and VC backed NI start-up and Nico Albanese - Senior Associate at Ascension Ventures and organiser of the Debut Sessions virtual pitch initiative.

LEVELUP will also feature an early-evening Speed Networking event on April 21st. The virtual event, taking place on Zoom, is being powered by NetMinds, and will provide opportunities for attendees to engage, build valuable connections, inspire others and be inspired.

It will follow a similar format to the recent speed networking event which Startacus had facilitated for female founders as part of International Women's Day. Further details and opportunities to book tickets for the speed networking event will be announced shortly.

In addition to Derry City and Strabane District Council as strategic partners, LEVELUP organisers and facilitators Startacus are delighted to announce that the Council will be joined as major sponsors of the event by North West Regional College and Ulster University.

In addition, Allstate NI, ESRI Ireland, RAISE Ventures and RealTime Recruitment will be sponsoring individual sessions over the course of the 2-day event.

Enterprise Week 2021 will be held from Monday April 19th to Friday April 23rd and will offer expert support in building business resilience and how to tailor operations and services to meet the unprecedented challenges that the expected reopening of full trading will bring.

Among the highlights in the five day programme are three Full Circle hosted workshops on Business Resilience, Social Media and Online Advertising.
You can register for all the events at derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek where the full programme is also available.

Free tickets are now available to be booked for individual sessions or for all.