By @SimonCocking

Another exciting event due to take place in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. It might be worth going just to see the legendary Chuck D @MrChuckD and the awesome, recently interviewed by Irish Tech News Jon Bradford @jd. Though Marvin Liao @marvinliao and Bill Daly will also be pretty useful people to listen as well.

Northern Ireland’s hottest startups are being urged to come forward and pitch for a place one of the most sought-after accelerator programmes on the planet.

The competition is being hosted by the newly launched ICONS Festival @iconsfestival in conjunction with the renowned Silicon-Valley based 500 Startups @500Startups, are seeking startups with big ideas and a hunger to succeed.

Particular focus is on companies who are market ready and working on industry changing tech within Virtual Reality, Wearables, FinTech or B2B.

ICONS Festival is expected to draw 20,000 visitors in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter between September 24 to 27 and features a fantastic list of speakers and artists from across Tech, Music and Screen. Speakers confirmed include Chuck D from Public Enemy, Hollywood Senior Exec Bill Daly and Techstars London MD Jon Bradford.

The two-day pitch competition offers successful applicants pitch training, mentoring and investor matching with the winning company being fast-tracked for an interview to join the list of global companies in the January 2016 intake of the accelerator programme in San Francisco.

ICONS Festival CEO, and tech entrepreneur Aaron Taylor @imaarontaylor, said: “In addition to collaborating with 500 Startups, we will also have more than 50 angels and VCs attending the pitch event actively looking for the next big thing and we’re keen to ensure only the highest quality applicants make it through to the finals.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to not only get to pitch to an incredible array of investors from all over the world, but to also test yourself against the best tech companies Europe has to offer.”

The ICONS pitch competition will feature up to 50 companies competing over two days for the right to be hailed as the ICONS Pitch Winner. Applications are hosted on the ICONS website and will be accepted through August 31st.

500 Startups partner Marvin Liao will oversee the startup competition process and judging, and will also be speaking at the Belfast event this autumn.

According to Marvin Liao, collaborating with ICONS Festival is a “no brainer” as it gives the accelerator the opportunity to quickly profile the hottest startups who have already made it through the ICONS application process and to see them working under pressure in the pitch competition.

“Watching companies battle it out in a pitch environment always proves an invaluable experience in gauging a founder’s ability to work under pressure, something which is a prerequisite for any successful startup,” he said.

With $185m in committed capital, 500 Startups has invested in over 1000 companies from all around the Globe, including Bark & Co, Behance and PicCollage. Now in it’s 5th year, 500 Startups shows no signs of slowing down, with $10m being committed to the DistroFund to help companies scale from post seed to Series A.

ICONS Festival runs from 24th – 27th September in Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

 

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