On Tuesday Night, our CEO Kyle and I attended the Northern Ireland Science Park Invent 2014 ‘Quick Pitch’ at W5 Belfast. NISP Connects ‘Invent’ is a competition that provides a showcase for the most exciting prototype technologies emerging from Northern Ireland.
Sponsored by the Bank of Ireland, 24 teams are taken through a programme of workshops and mentorship to pitch for a share of a £33,000 prize fund. Having participated last year, we were happy to be providing the ticketing for the evening, and not having to pitch ourselves!
On Tuesday night, 24 were whittled down to 12, as the presenters had 3 minutes to pitch their companies to a judging panel that included; the prominent Professor of Computer Technology and Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, Andy Hopper, and founder of international medical company TG Eakin which exports to more than 30 countries worldwide, Tom Eakin.
Although all of the pitches were fantastic, I wanted to share 3 of my personal favourites:
The Little Deli App: Developed by University of Ulster IMD Masters student, Alex Milne, the little deli app enables you to skip the queues and order your lunch online. The little Deli app is currently available for Deli lights, yummy sandwiches and the latest, O’Briens in Victoria Square, amongst other places.
We love this app in the office and the guys use it religiously to order their lunch. As soon as it is available to Android, I will definitely be downloading it myself.
See.Sense: A lower cost cycling Power Meter using their own patent sensor technology. See.Sense.uses advanced sensor technology to monitor you, the bicycle and your environment.
In situations where you need to be seen most, like a road junction or filtering in traffic, it flashes vividly to make you more visible.
Inlifesize- Deep Paper: A next-generation digital comic platform that embraces all aspects of digital technology.
This comes from University of Ulster’s, Greg Maguire who has worked on major productions such as Avatar, Happy Feet and Harry Potter, and developed beautiful augmented apps like Fairy Magic. Every time I see anything that Greg creates I am blown away. I was lucky enough to see a version of this at Q-Con (Queens gaming convention) last year and it was stunning even then.
The companies had just 3 minutes in the spotlight to pitch and competition was fierce. After the pitches, the judges then had the unenviable task of choosing the twelve ideas they saw as having the greatest commercial potential.
The top 12 will pitch their final business plans to a panel of experts in September and the category winners and overall winner will be announced at a gala Awards showcase in front of 600 people at the iconic Titanic Belfast on 2nd October 2014.
Well done to all those who pitched, and a special congrats to all the winners!