It has been a pivotal year for our community. Thank you for being part of it!
2022 was undoubtedly the year of connection. The world's doors opened back up, and so did ours. We came together countless times over the past 12 months to share in the possibility of exciting ideas, to nurture your early stage ventures together with the power of the community behind you, to step into new leadership roles with confidence and grace, to discuss the challenges of the world and how we can be part of the solution.
We grasped every opportunity to connect, inspire and educate our community
We welcomed 12 founders onto our Accelerator programme in Spring and Autumn to take their early stage business venture, commercialise and launch with the objective of raising investment for growth.
We always celebrated founders' wins along the way
Gary McDowell went live with the Sleep When I Sleep (SWIS) app back in April. The app for Apple watches pauses playback for audiobooks and podcasts when the user falls asleep so you don't miss your spot. Brilliant, right?
Jemma Simpson launched DiverseTalent.ai in September, a diversity, equity and inclusion driven recruitment platform connecting ethical employers with diverse talent.
We supported our alumni to secure investment for growth and scale
With Inbound Investors, Seedcorn and London investment sprints.
We hosted the first in-person Pitch Night back after 3 years online, showcasing 6 investment-ready startups to angel investors and VC Funds in Parisien Belfast.
We welcomed more founders and aspiring entrepreneurs into our support system
We loved seeing our community grow and flourish. Joanne Cole of BrokerIQ, Michelle Connor of Kinva, Sinead Welsh of InformedMindsApp, Louise McCann of Moody Activewear and Stephen Rice of TalentSensus shared their Startup Stories with us throughout the year. We led conversations around diversity in startups and emerging technologies like blockchain, AI/ML and web3.
We supported the best of the NI startup scene
As sponsors of the Digital DNA Startup Zone back in June. We also came together with the ecosystem to showcase the support available to startups across the country with our first ever 'Innovation Hub Crawl' as part of the Digital DNA Fringe.
Nurturing our relationships with our partners to deliver more value to startups
We supported ecosystem building initiatives across Northern Ireland and Ireland with our partners at Belfast Met, Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, Ormeau Baths, The Innovation Factory, Ulster Bank, Catalyst, British Business Bank, The AMP Growth Incubator, Clockwise and more. We created links beyond borders with Startacus and TechIreland's Innovation Island Connect networking event at this year's SaaStock in Dublin.
And we went international with WebSummit Lisbon!
At Europe's biggest tech conference, the team spent time learning from other startup communities, understanding the journeys and challenges of founders across Europe and creating connections on behalf of our Raise Alumni. The energy around the conference and city was palpable everywhere you went. An incredible trip!
We opened our doors to partners hosting events in the Raise Space and grasped every opportunity to connect founders with the right people and resources and the right time.
We brought our Accelerator community together to create valuable learning opportunities with each other in our first Extended Board workshop.
We played an important role in driving improvements to the entrepreneurial ecosystem with Jenny, Michael, Marty and the team taking to the stage in panel discussions at Digital DNA and Eva-Jayne speaking at the ecosystem builder roundtable as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Resilience and wellbeing emerged as key priorities for founders
And became our focal point of support through the Emerging Leaders Summer School. The new programme encouraged founders to explore new ways of looking after their mental health through wellbeing activities and inspired us to embed founder mindfulness into our DNA. So we launched the Pause Mindfulness Series, helping founders to find calm in the chaos. Our community united to face new challenges together with the support of mindset coaches Philip Brady, Caoilfhionn Buckley and Ciaran May.
So all that's left to say is...
Thank you! It's been magical.
We'll see you again in 2023...