Innovate UK EDGE Northern Ireland

Innovate UK EDGE, formerly known as Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), is the UK innovation agency’s resource for innovative SMEs from any sector which are ambitious to grow and scale.

Although the UK has left the European Union, Innovate UK EDGE provides businesses with all the benefits associated with EEN, including access to international networks and innovation and growth experts.

Invest NI hosts Innovate UK Edge in Northern Ireland; our advisors can be a mentor, critical friend, and champion to innovative businesses, enabling you to grow and scale.

We can help you access support from Innovate UK EDGE including one-to-one mentoring, peer-to-peer networks, brokerage events, partnership opportunities and programmes such as the Global Business Innovation and Global Incubator programmes.

We can help ambitious businesses:

  • Implement effective innovation management processes
  • Access funding and finance 
  • Enter new markets
  • Accelerate growth
  • Achieve rapid commercialisation and scaling

Mentoring support

Innovative businesses can access five days of fully funded coaching and mentoring support to help managers identify and overcome pain points and barriers to commercialisation or growth.

Our mentoring support will help answer your questions such as:

  • I have an innovative business idea that I'd like to explore - can you help me?
    Yes. There are a number of steps you need to take to implement a good business idea. We can help you select, test, develop and commercialise your best ideas so that your business can create value for you and your customers.
  • I have technical knowledge, but I'm not an experienced business person. How can I turn my idea into a business?
    We can walk you through this process in a focused workshop session where you can learn to test different strategies and develop new business models.
  • Where can I get up-to-date market information for my business idea and research its potential?
    We can help you access the latest market information and insights through our Business Information Centre.
  • Is it possible to work with another organisation to develop my product or service?
    Partnership and collaboration is common when developing products and services. Through our international networks we can search for contacts for you.
  • Is there any funding or support available to help me develop my idea or project?
    Yes. There are many different funding streams available locally, nationally and internationally. We can help to find the best support for your needs.

Who is eligible?

This support is available to all businesses in Northern Ireland.

How to apply?

To find out more about Innovate UK EDGE Northern Ireland and how it can help your business, visit  the Innovate UK EDGE website alternatively call our Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422 or fill in the online enquiry form

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest supports high growth potential innovative small to medium sized businesses to get investment ready and develop their investor pitch in order to help raise finance. The programme is currently seeking applications from NI based companies interested in internationalisation and seeking to raise £500K+ over the next two years. The programme has 15 places available for NI based companies in its February/March 2022 cohort.

Apply now for Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest 

Why apply and What does Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest offer?

  • Two-days of comprehensive pitch training
  • Access to leading pitch and investment experts
  • Bespoke support from a dedicated innovation and growth specialist 
  • An opportunity to build a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition
  • Supercharge your elevator pitch and build a persuasive investor pitch
  • Understand how to find investors in your region and across the UK
  • Gain experience by testing your pitch in front of real investors and receive constructive no-risk feedback

Eligibility criteria:

  • UK registered 
  • High-growth potential and innovative business
  • Small to medium sized businesses 
  • Interested in internationalisation 
  • Seeking to raise c. £500k of investment (over the next 24 months). If you are seeking to raise less, you can make a case when describing their investment plan
  • Business will need to be looking to test their pitch to investors (Business Angel / Venture Capital finance), with a minimum of £100k in turnover / sales pipeline / route to market secured
  • Businesses can have up to 250 staff

Key dates:

  • Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
  • Tuesday, 7 December 2021: Notification of application outcome
  • Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
  • Thursday, 3 February 2022, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
  • Thursday, 17 February 2022, full day: Training day 1
  • Thursday, 3 March 2022, full day: Training day 2
  • Wednesday, 16 March 2022, 20 mins: Investor session
  • After 16 March 2022: Ongoing bespoke support

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Contact our
Business support team
0800 181 4422
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