NI start-ups urged to ‘Propel’ their businesses forward in the global marketplace
Invest Northern Ireland has urged NI start-ups to apply for the 2015/16 Propel Programme before the 6th November deadline. The programme is designed to support innovative entrepreneurs who have the greatest potential to scale up an export focused company and become a significant employer.
Now in its 6th year, Propel is an intensive 12-month programme which helps participants fast track their business ideas, develop ambitious growth plans and explore global markets. Already the programme is credited with creating nearly 120 companies, between them having accessed over £14.5m of external investment and creating almost 270 jobs so far.
Applications are currently open to early stage export focused businesses with an innovative product or service, or a business idea that is in the advanced planning stages. The closing date for applications is November 6th, and following a competitive assessment process, Propel 2015/16 will formally commence in January 2016. The programme is delivered in two phases.
Successful Propel participants will follow an intensive, tried and tested methodology, which on completion means that they are ready to pitch for investment and compete for business internationally. They will receive a series of challenging business development workshops, valuable advice from local and international business experts, introductions to potential investors and one-to-one bespoke guidance through a group of experienced mentors. Participants will also be offered financial support up to the value of £20,000 and will have access to dedicated shared working space at Revolution BFS, a new purpose-designed start-up space on Donegall Street, in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
Launching the call for applications Niall Casey, Director, Skills & Strategy Invest NI said; “Propel is seen by many previous participants as the real catalyst behind their business success and we believe it presents the ideal environment to foster creative, ambitious, early stage company teams or individuals, who have the potential to take-on international markets.”
“The impact and value of Propel to the local start-up scene and the wider economy is clear. Every year we have seen an increasing pipeline of entrepreneurial talent applying to the programme and we have no doubt the standard will be equally high this year.”
Rachel Gawley, through her venture AppAttic, is a current participant on the Propel 2014/15 Programme. With extensive experience of producing apps and web platforms, through Propel she has developed Chipin, an online goal platform that provides motivation through social interactions and the simple act of giving.
Talking about the value of the Propel programme to her business Rachel said; “The reputation of the Propel Programme preceded it and having heard rave reviews from previous Propellers I realised it would be just the ticket for me to up my business knowledge and help take my products to market.”
“My background is in technology and as such I would not have had much business exposure before. To have access to such experienced business people with a huge level of expertise through Propel has been extremely valuable in focusing my mind and developing the skills I needed. There is no doubt that Propel participation has made me more determined and more likely to succeed,” said Rachel.
Information and online application for Propel 2014/15 can be found at
http://www.investni.com/propel-programme.html Further details can also be discussed with Invest NI by calling . The closing date for Propel 2015/16 applications is 6th November.