Want to know more about our support?

What are Start Up Innovation Driven Enterprises?

Start Up Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) are young, early-stage companies, led by ambitious founder teams with the potential to develop new innovative products and services, or are using existing technology to disrupt traditional industries, and a drive and capability to succeed on a global scale.

Founder Labs – Accelerating Innovation Programme

Founder Labs is Invest NI’s new accelerator programme. It is specifically focussed on technology based IDEs, providing support to the most ambitious and high potential founders across Northern Ireland.

Each start-up on the programme benefits from six months of intensive 1:1 mentoring, workshops and events with industry experts and access to shared workspace. Participants will take part in international study visits to explore global opportunities and will pitch to local and international investors.

This is an intense, six month programme and Founder Labs participants will be expected to commit fully to the programme and be working full time on their business.

Support includes:

  • Workshops, events and mentoring 
  • Access to a global network of investors
  • Support from the tech start-up community
  • International study trips

Who should apply?

Founder Labs is ideal for technology-based start-ups with ambitious and transformative ideas that can achieve the following by year three of trading:

  • Revenue or funding of more than £1m
  • 60% of sales from outside Northern Ireland
  • External investment

Founder Labs' will be delivered by Ormeau Baths in Belfast in partnership with Dogpatch Labs in Dublin, The AMP in Derry and Queens University Belfast. The programme is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and New Deal Entrepreneurship Funding.

For more information on Founder Labs and to apply visit Ormeau Baths.

Other support

Separate to Founder Labs, Invest NI provides a range of additional support for IDEs to develop their value propositions and scale their businesses.

Eligibility for support

To be eligible for Invest NI’s wider IDE support, businesses must be:

  • Headquartered in Northern Ireland
  • Credible with an experienced management team
  • Have registered the company within the last five years
  • Engaged in manufacturing or tradeable services
  • Creating significant market opportunity with a new innovative IP/technology /service
  • Capable of reaching £1m turnover and 10 employees (average salary £25k) within three years 
  • Focused on export markets
  • Capable of securing external/matched funding within 18 months

Contact us

Send us an enquiry if you would like to talk with us about support for your Start Up IDE.

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Contact our
Business support team
0800 181 4422
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