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NI start-up pitch competition LEVELUP opens for applications

26 March 2021
Applications are now being sought for an exciting opportunity for start-ups from Northern Ireland to stake a claim for a £2,000 cash prize.
The LEVELUP start-up pitch competition for early stage NI businesses will take place on April 21st and 22nd as part of the comprehensive online programme for Enterprise Week Derry Strabane 2021.
Delivered by Startacus and in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, LEVELUP is a two day hybrid event drawing on and looking at innovation and best practice from around the world.
The event will seek to inspire change and encourage entrepreneurship at a local level, exploring how people, both locally and internationally, have created opportunity, economic growth and initiated real change.
It will focus on six core themes: Smart Places and Rural Innovation, Retail and High-Street, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Health and Wellness, Social Change and Inclusion and Diversity.
The LEVELUP pitch competition is seeking to find NI start-ups that fit within one of these six core themes and which offer innovative solutions and show real growth potential.
In addition, there is a wildcard category for early stage NI start-ups offering disruptive and innovative solutions and products that fit outside these core event themes - for example innovation in finance, cyber security, or education.
Eligible NI Start-ups must be 36 months old or less and have raised less than £100k (in terms of grants, funds and investment).
Up to 14 NI start-ups will be shortlisted and selected to take part in the event, where they will pitch virtually to a panel of industry experts.
The overall winning start-up will be awarded a £2,000 cash prize during the final session of the two-day hybrid event.
Shortlisted NI start-ups who apply to the competition must be available to pitch to a group of judges during the week commencing 12th April* so that their pre-recorded pitch can be viewed on the 21st or 22nd April as part of the LEVELUP event.
Start-up founders or a senior representative of the team must also be available to join a live Zoom session currently scheduled for 3.40pm - 4.10pm on 22nd April when the LEVELUP start-up winner will be announced.
Pitch applications close at 11.59pm on 10th April 2021 and start-ups may also be shortlisted by Startacus before this final date.
Shortlisting decisions are final and any businesses who miss the application closing date will only be invited to pitch if pitching slots become available.
Interested parties can also reach out to Alastair Cameron, Co-founder at Startacus via [email protected] to discuss applying.
Applications can be submitted at https://form.jotform.com/210782448280356 where you can also review the competition full terms and conditions. Good luck to all who apply!
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.