Friday, 15 November 2013

Friday Night Mashup set to help NI tech startups ‘take on the world’



 - Launch event at Titanic’s Dock and Pumphouse on November 29 - 

Hi-tech startups from across Northern Ireland are being urged to come forward and pitch their ideas at Northern Ireland’s newest entrepreneurial support network.  

Friday Night Mashup (fridaynightmashup.com) is a regular event series created “to connect and empower Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs to go out and take on the world”. Over 150 leading figures in tech, business, investment and media from Belfast, Dublin and Derry will converge for the first event on Friday November 29 at the Titanic Dock’s and Pumphouse in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.  

Primarily the event aims to provide a platform for new talent and act as a launchpad for local companies seeking to make an impact in export markets in the US and Europe. Organisers behind the event are drawn from award-winning startup Taggled and GoPrezzowhich has offices in San Francisco and New York.

Organiser Aaron Taylor said: “Friday Night Mashup is run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Our aim is to energise the entrepreneurial eco-system in Northern Ireland - we do that by bringing good-quality speakers and by opening up the opportunity for tech startups to demo their products and pitch for support and mentoring.

“We're bringing along people who have closed funding rounds and understand what it takes to pitch to investors. We’re keen to share experiences and to help build the confidence and energy needed for local talent to make a big impact on export markets.” 

Speaking at the event are: 
  • John Pryor, Corporate Innovation consultant for RocketSpace in San Francisco 
  • Paul McDonnell, Start Up Director at the Dublin Web Summit, Europe’s largest technology event
  • The Cargo team behind Brewbot - the product that combines smart technology with home-brewing - which recently attracted over £100,000 on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and are also this months FNM Hottest Start Up.
The event - which is sponsored by Belfast City Council as main sponsor, and NI Science Park, Hays, Verizon, Digital DNA, ASG, Cleaver Fulton Rankin and Atlas Communications - will also feature Kickstarter company of the month Patchblocks. The company will be demoing their music hardware via a live DJ set. Their concept was released onto Kickstarter this month and has raised over £40,000, smashing its £10,000 funding goal within a few days.

Concluding, Aaron said: “Our speakers are working at the cutting edge of innovation in Silicon Valley and Europe. Northern Ireland’s reputation as a tech hub is growing internationally so it is vital we bring in internationally recognised expertise of this quality to help make the bridge into new markets.”

Aside from top-quality speakers, there is a social side - the organisers will have a pig on a spit, free drinks plus guided tours of the Titanic’s Dock. Applications are open for four new startups to demo and pitch at the event; the closing date is Friday November 15. Those interested in attending or pitching to the event should log on to http://www.fridaynightmashup.com/