The countdown has begun for upSTART 2018, the European-wide startup pitch competition, which will take place at next month’s Digital DNA at St. George’s Market in Belfast.

With the competition now in its third year, upSTART – hosted by leading startup publication and platform Startacus – has become an integral part of the two-day business and technology event. The pitch competition will play out over two rounds, starting with 25 disruptive startups, before culminating with one winner who will walk away with a £5k cash prize and a host of other prizes.

As well as a £5k cash prize, the winning startup will also receive one year’s mentoring care from award-winning full-service agency Flint Studios; a 1-2-1 meeting with Eamon Carey, Managing Director of Techstars London; a year’s co-working space; and two days of legal advice from one of upSTART’s major sponsors, leading corporate law firm Tughans – providing crucial feedback, support and networking opportunities.

“Whilst winning will be a fantastic achievement, it isn’t everything. We will aim to showcase and support all of the competing startups at Digital DNA, helping them on the next stage of their journeys,” explains Alastair Cameron, Co-Founder of Startacus.

2017 contestant, Andre Wang, Co-Founder of FavourUp, said:

“upSTART is an excellent opportunity for early stage startups to attract attention for both investment and exposure. We were approached by interesting potential investors at the event, which helped us to close our seed fundraising round on an equity crowdfunding platform later.”

Kiran Bhagotra, Founder of Protect Box, added:

“upSTART was a great way to get in front of the whole of the vibrant island of Ireland’s startup ecosystem. Not just the investors and corporate partners, but also those there to help such as Invest NI, universities & advisors such as Startacus”.

Momentum is continuing to build for upSTART, with two members of the judging panel confirmed: Jess McGahan, Head of Brand at L Marks, and Marko Srsan, Programme Manager at Techstars. Applications for UK, Irish and European startups to apply to pitch at the event open until 25 May 2018. Shortlisting of startups who apply by 18 May will take place first, with another round of application considered the following week.

For further information and to apply, visit https://digitaldna.org.uk/upstart-2018


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