Northern Ireland’s most exciting new businesses have been shortlisted as part of a brand new awards programme.

The StartUp Awards National Series has been launched to recognise the booming startup scene across the UK which has accelerated since the pandemic began. In 2020, when most of the world was shutting down, more than 400,000 startups were set up in Britain, with similar increases seen in other European countries.

This marked boost in newfound entrepreneurship is mirrored by a huge 2,500 applications which have been received in response to the Startup Awards National Series’ first ever call for entries.

The Northern Ireland startups that made the shortlist are a true snapshot of the future economy, with a collective turnover of over £3m and employing 146 people between them. Of the region’s great passion for entrepreneurship, one finalist said: “Northern Ireland has proved to be a key start-up hub over the last ten years. 

“It’s where lots of start-up enterprises have begun and grown over the years. It’s a place that is cost-effective to establish and run a business, and over time it’s proved to be entrepreneurial and innovative in its approach.”

The cohort of finalists announced today will be considered for the regional prizes by a panel of seasoned judges with experience founding or supporting entrepreneurial ventures. This includes Northern Ireland-based Roisin Molloy, CEO & founder of Trimedika, Dave Linton, CEO of Madlug, and Audrey Osbourse, investor in TechStart Ventures.

Supported nationally by BT, EY, Dell & Intel, the programme will celebrate the achievements of the amazing individuals across the UK who have turned an idea into an opportunity and taken the risk to launch a new product or service.

Co-founded by the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, the new series follows the success of the Wales StartUp Awards, after organisers recognised the exceptional potential in the startup scene across the other British regions.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, the creator of the StartUp Awards National Series, said: “New firms are important for generating economic prosperity, employment opportunities and innovation. Since 2016, the Wales StartUp Awards have celebrated this amazing annual contribution to our economy by entrepreneurs and the impact they have on communities across the nation.

“Given the sheer volume of phenomenal startups we’ve heard from since then, as well as the huge post-pandemic shift in people’s desires to take their career in a new direction and set up a business against the odds, we felt it was the right time to take the programme nationwide. We’ve been blown away by the standard of entries from Northern Ireland in this first year and truly look forward to crowning the winners.”

The Northern Ireland final will take place at The Limelight in Belfast on 31st May 2022.

This year’s StartUp Awards National Series finalists from Northern Ireland are:

B2B Services StartUp

Scanmatix, Founded by George Armstrong

Brilliant Buttons, Founded by Tim Taylor

LMR Labs, Founded by Mark Flynn 

Genysys Engine, Founded by Emma McClenaghan & Matthew Eaton


B2C Services StartUp

Boobingit, Founded by Ruth Maguire

The Dundrum Inn, Founded by Philip Patterson

NETLOVE, Founded by Carmel Irandoust

RESPONSIBLE, Founded by Mark Dowds


Creative StartUp

Airfolio, Founded by Tom Cargan-James

Hundred Studio, Founded by Gregg Reid & Craig Norwood

Sheer Blooms, Founded by Grace Connolly

Social Thread Marketing, Founded by Rebecca Martin


Digital StartUp

Wee Bookworms, Founded by Madeleine Neilly

Erised, Founded by Taras Lanchev

Digi Media Management, Founded by Hayley Quinnell 


Food & Drink StartUp

Mussenden Sea Salt, Founded by Claire O’Kane

Spear and Arrow, Founded by Lynette McHendry MBE

Madame Macs, Founded by Claudia Kingsnorth


Global StartUp

ExtraTax Training, Founded by Catriona Loughran

The Mind Tribe UK, Founded by Katie Matthews

NETLOVE, Founded by Carmel Irandoust


Innovative StartUp

Quell, Founded by John McGurk

ubloquity, Founded by Dominic Burch & Kieran Kelly

Sativa Learning, Founded by Ryan McCreanor

Informed Minds App, Founded by Sinead Welsh


Mobile & Emerging Technologies StartUp

Make I.T. Work, Founded by Darian Barr

NetworkFit, Founded by Ryan O’Reilly 

ULNK, Founded by Simon Steele 


Online Retail StartUp

Olivia’s Haven, Founded by Olivia Burns

Baby of Mine Shop, Founded by Laura Donaldson

MOVE, Founded by Sean Murphy

Zen Bear, Founded by Emma Hart & Kyle Titterington 

Serenity Clothing, Founded by Eoin O’Neill


Professional Services StartUp

Acceler8 Business Solutions, Founded by Mark Maguire & Ciara Boyes

Whytematter Staffing Solutions, Founded by Kirsty McDowell & Mairead Moore

Occupational Therapy NI, Founded by Corinna Keaney & Margaret McEvoy


Rising Star Award

Cubefun, Founded by Caitrin Kincaid

Stork Bundles, Founded by Lauren & Aaron McNeill

NetworkFit, Founded by Ryan O’Reilly

Kinva, Founded by Michelle Connor 


Rural StartUp

Genysys Engine, Founded by Emma McClenaghan & Matthew Eaton

The Dundrum Inn, Founded by Philip Paterson 

MOVE., Founded by Sean Murphy

Natasha Swan Ceramics, Founded by Natasha Swan


Young Entrepreneur

Digital Stylist UK, Founded by Kim Lamont

NetworkFit, Founded by Ryan O’Reilly

MOVE., Founded by Sean Murphy

Social Thread Marketing, Founded by Rebecca Martin


Belfast StartUp

LMR Labs, Founded by Mark Flynn

Airfolio, Founded by Tom Cargan-James

ULNK, Founded by Simon Steele

Whytematter Staffing Solutions, Founded by Kirsty McDowell & Mairead Moore