Ten NI start-ups receive funding from Catalyst’s Co-Founders programme

(L-R) Kavitha Kalavoor Gopalan and Patricia Kelpie, Star 3 Group Ltd; Eamonn McNutt, Moving More; and Jacqueline McCann, Catalyst
(L-R) Kavitha Kalavoor Gopalan and Patricia Kelpie, Star 3 Group Ltd; Eamonn McNutt, Moving More; and Jacqueline McCann, Catalyst

Successful companies span health & wellbeing, medtech, and software



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10 June 2021 | 0

Ten of Northern Ireland’s most promising new start-ups have won proof of concept grants worth £10,000 following participation in Catalyst’s Co-Founders programme.

Catalyst is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that supports transformative businesses, and the development of Northern Ireland’s tech industry.

An 11-week programme for first time entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups, Co-Founders brings together talented, skilled and ambitious individuals from technical and commercial backgrounds, to meet like-minded people interested in developing new product ideas focused on technology, engineering and science. The aim of the programme is to tap into Northern Ireland’s talent base and encourage more people to get involved in start-up ventures.




Funding for the awards was provided by the Department for the Economy and presented to the successful teams this week after a competitive online pitch event on 3 June.

Teams who pitched for the funding were drawn from the most recent cohort of Co-Founders participants, who completed the programme in June. Awards were made to companies from a range of sectors, including health & wellbeing; med-tech; consumer software; business software; and engineered products. 

The successful teams were:

  • Atlas Fitness – a machine learning app that creates custom fitness routines
  • Stable Pro – an online platform to better manage the care and wellbeing of horses
  • Path – a health tracking app designed for endometriosis sufferers
  • Bioliberty Ltd – a robotic solution for sufferers of hand weakness
  • Moving More – A device that tracks sedentary behaviour and encourages movement
  • Tootsie Feet – a technology-enabled children’s shoe brand
  • Movetru – a wearable device that aims to reduce injury and enhance rehabilitation
  • Indie Communications – a cloud-based app for measuring mobile phone signal
  • Star 3 Group – an educational tool to help teach children self-care
  • Belfast Lifestyle Medicine – an app for irritable bowel syndrome management

“The funding awarded today will provide an opportunity for the winning teams to pursue their ideas and contribute to the thriving innovation ecosystem in Northern Ireland, as previous participants in Co-Founders have done,” said Jacqueline McCann, programme manager at Catalyst. “The Co-Founders programme provides a unique opportunity for individuals who have dreamed of being entrepreneurs to have a go.  We believe that increasing the number of innovative start-ups in Northern Ireland can play a major role in the recovery of the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Since launching in 2017, Co-Founders has delivered seven cohorts involving 488 people who have formed 100 teams – over a third of whom are still working together.

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