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StartPlanetNI calls on Local and International Startups to make Belfast their Launchpad

StartPlanetNINorthern Ireland’s only private equity backed startup accelerator programme, StartPlanetNI is inviting high growth potential startups from NI and international markets to choose Belfast as their business launchpad.

Following on from the first cohort which has helped establish Belfast as a go-to location in the UK and Europe for ambitious startups, StartPlanetNI is now offering places for up to 10 companies where half will be drawn from Northern Ireland and the rest coming from international markets. Applications are now open and need to be received before the deadline of 27th May.

Following a highly competitive shortlisting process, the successful participants will begin the 3-month intensive programme in September 2016. It is specifically designed for technology focused startups who have been in operation ideally less than 24 months but who have an immediate global market potential. Teams of 2-4 people must have a viable product developed, but yet need extra support to help with its development and market potential.

The programme offers a mix of private equity investment, intensive expert mentoring, co-working space which is part of a global start-up network, business support, and the potential for further investment, in exchange for a 6% equity stake in each business.  Each successful participant on the StartPlanetNI programme will receive seed equity investment of £15,000, with the opportunity to gain up to £40,000 investment on completion of the 3 month programme.

StartPlanetNI is delivered by a high-calibre team including renowned mentor and founder Bill Liao, Diane Roberts from Xcell Partners who is running the programme, and  experienced Accelerator Manager Wayne Murphy . They are supported by an impressive team of expert mentors with a wide range of international experience who will offer intensive mentoring and coaching to the successful founders.

Highlighting the importance of the accelerator programme lead mentor, Bill Liao said; “We know that supporting ambitious entrepreneurs to develop innovative startups is a critical part of Northern Ireland’s broader economic strategy. We also know the important role that accelerator programmes play in delivering healthy startup communities and equally how difficult it is to attract the best startups, given the growing number of quality accelerator programmes across the world. To compete, we have put together a compelling proposition which combines strong private equity funding, innovative workspace, top quality mentoring and business support along with global networks and reach.  We know that for many international startups a UK foothold is important, as is access to the wider European market, so we believe StartPlanetNI is well placed to attract some of the hottest new businesses to Belfast, who will in turn help build a stronger local startup scene.”

Encouraging StartPlanetNI applications Diane Roberts, from Xcell Partners added; “We are confident that building on the success of our first programme, we will get a lot of interest, from both local and international startups. We now look forward to receiving applications from the next batch of entrepreneurs who will choose Belfast as their startup location of choice and remind anyone who is interested to get their applications in before 27th May deadline.”

Details about the StartPlanetNI programme and the application process can be found on www.startplanetni.com or by following @startplanetni on Twitter.