Derry City & Strabane - Public encouraged to come along and support the future entrepreneurs of the North West




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Public encouraged to come along and support the future entrepreneurs of the North West

21 February 2023

Budding entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to compete for their share of a fantastic £15,000 prize fund as part of this year's Start-Up Launch Pad North West Pitching Competition.

In partnership with the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Strabane BID, Inner City Trust, Hypefast NI, and Ulster University, Derry City and Strabane District will host the exciting competition as part of this year's Enterprise Week.

A firm favourite of Enterprise Week, the morning session will celebrate successful start-ups from across the North West, who will set the scene by sharing their personal success stories, revealing how they realised their ambitions and developed the mindset needed to progress their ideas.

Keynote speaker Paul Nelis, Director and co-founder of ChallengeCurve, will share his experience working with innovative start-ups and provide valuable insights to ensure your start-up business has the greatest chance of success.

Early-stage start-ups from across the council area will take to the stage in a Dragon's Den-style competition in the afternoon. Entrants will pitch their business idea to industry experts, high-profile media, and the public in this showcase event.

The Start-Up Launch Pad event is an unmissable day for entrepreneurs, businesses, students, and anyone with an innovative idea. Council's Head of Business, Kevin O'Connor, encouraged the public to join the highly anticipated 2023 competition and support our early-stage founders.

"We're excited to see the Start-up Launch Pad North West Pitching event return as part of Enterprise Week 2023, building on the previous successes of the competition in supporting new businesses. We have a strong pool of innovative talent here in Derry and Strabane. We're thrilled to offer this fantastic opportunity to support our early-stage businesses in turning their dream business into a reality. We want to encourage the public to come along to support our local entrepreneurs and give them an enthusiastic and encouraging audience to hear their pitch, helping to select the overall winners of this year's competition on the day."

Successful applicants will gain expert advice and assistance to grow their business idea, develop their pitching skills, and avail of exciting business opportunities.

The benefits of entering the competition include access to the Start-Up Launch Pad Incubation hub in Derry, with high-quality office space, high-speed broadband, and meeting and conference facilities, which the Inner City Trust and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce support. The Strabane BID has sponsored a significant prize package to support new start-ups establishing their business in the town center, including help with the Love Strabane marketing campaign and expert mentoring.

Successful candidates will receive a business grant to purchase items, including marketing materials, equipment, rent, or training to assist them in overall business development. They will also receive one-to-one mentoring support from leading figures across a range of industries and a series of pitching masterclass workshops.

Various venues across Derry and Strabane will host events from the 6th until the 10th of March as part of this year's Enterprise Week. A popular event in the annual business calendar, the week-long programme will host several keynote presentations, panel discussions, and practical sessions to support budding entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners.

For more information or to book tickets, please visit