Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is Ignite?

Our team have accelerated more than 100 startups since 2011 and have a strong track record selecting and supporting promising companies, with our portfolio raising over £20m in 2016 alone. 

The majority of us have founded businesses, raised investment, created apps, launched products, been knocked down, got back up. We’ve walked a mile in plenty of shoes. Collectively, we've worked on more accelerator programmes than anyone else in Europe.

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Where are the programmes based?

The programmes are based out of the Ormeau Baths - a brand new coworking space in the centre of Belfast, founded by entrepreneurs Jon Bradford, Mark Dowds, Aaron Taylor and Steve Pette with support from tech leaders from Northern Ireland’s digital diaspora, including FanDuel’s Nigel Eccles and Sarah Friar of Square.

All companies accepted onto the programmes get free office space in Ormeau Baths for the duration of the programme, with the option to stay on for up to an additional 6 months, dependent on progress.

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Who should apply?

The Propel pre-accelerator is designed to support early stage technology companies who are still pre-launch or have just started acquiring their first customers or making their first sales.

The accelerator is for later stage companies who have already launched and now need help scaling and/or raising investment.

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What counts as a ‘technology’ company?

If you’re developing innovative new technology (either software or hardware), or you’re using existing technology to disrupt an existing industry then you’re eligible to apply.

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What are you looking for in the companies who apply?

We judge companies on three key areas:

  • Team - is there a strong founding team who have the skills necessary to build a successful company
  • Market - is there a large enough opportunity to build an international scale business?
  • Product/Idea - Is this an innovative solution to a real market need?

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How much money do you invest?

For the Propel pre-accelerator there is a grant of up to £15k (equity free) for each company. This money is released throughout the programme as the company reaches pre-agreed milestones.

For the accelerator programme there is a convertible loan of £15k available for each company. For companies who are relocating into Northern Ireland there is the option for an additional £5k convertible loan to help with relocation costs.

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How much equity do you take?

For the pre-accelerator the £15k is a grant - not an investment or loan, so no equity is taken.

For the accelerator the £15k is a convertible loan that can either be repaid, or that can convert into equity during a future investment round.

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Who invests the money?

The money is all provided by Invest NI.

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Who will be doing the mentoring?

The mentoring is all done by startup founders or employees who have been there and done it themselves. We actively avoid bringing in ‘consultants’ or service providers so you never need to worry that a mentor is going to start selling to you!

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What’s the deal with the US trip?

The US trip is only available to companies who are on the accelerator programme. We’ll be spending 10 days during the programme meeting startup founders, mentors and investors on both the West and East Coast.
The programme will cover the costs of the flights and accommodation for up to two founders from each company (based on sharing a twin room).

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How many companies will be joining the programme?

There is space for 20 companies on the Propel pre-accelerator programme, and 10 companies on the accelerator programme.

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Apply Today

Find out more about the application process for our pre-accelerator and accelerator programmes, and apply today.