Tech investors announced as judges on Digital DNA’s upSTART pitch competition
Some of the world’s most respected technology investors have been named as part of a high calibre judging panel for Digital DNA’s start-up competition.
Siobhán Clarke, Partner at London venture capital firm Episode 1 Ventures, and Volker Hirsch, Partner at Amadeus Capital, will join experts in the early stage and high-growth technology sector to whittle down the entries into the most exciting start-up competition in Northern Ireland, upSTART.
It will shine a light on some of the best technology innovations that Northern Ireland has to offer. For the first time, upSTART will be exclusive to Northern Ireland-based start-ups and will feature an all-expenses paid trip to explore New York’s tech scene for the overall winner. Around 40 disruptive start-ups will battle it out in a one-day pitching competition.
The judging panel includes:
- Siobhán Clarke, Partner at Episode 1 Ventures, a London-based venture capital (VC) fund set up to invest between £250,000 and £2m in early-stage technology companies in the UK. The firm comprises ex-entrepreneurs, experienced investors and deep operational experience. After its first fund of £37.5m, it is now investing its second fund of £60m in deep tech and marketplaces. Its current portfolio includes Kyldo, Cloud NC, CarWow, Auquan.
- Volker Hirsch, Partner at Amadeus Capital. Volker has a particular focus on AI, machine learning, human-machine interfaces, enterprise SaaS, autonomous systems, digital health and medical technologies. Currently, he is a founder of Blue Beck, a mobile development house, and is a VC partner at Emerge Education, Europe’s leading educational-tech accelerator programme.
- Naomi Timperley, an experienced partnership and engagement consultant. Listed in Computer Weekly’s Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT in 2018, Naomi has extensive experience working with start-ups and growth businesses in the tech, digital and creative sectors. She sits on Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Innovation Board and is the chair of investment platform Capital Pilot.
- Sam Louis, Head of Consultancy at Angel Investment Network, a global network of angel investors and entrepreneurs. Simon brokers investment into start-ups, SMEs and property developments, as well as consulting on AIN’s strategy and growth.
- Carl Reader, founder of the #BeYourOwnBoss movement and chair of business advisory firm d&t. Author of The Startup Coach and The Franchising Handbook, Carl also provides regular commentary for the BBC, Forbes, The Guardian and The Mirror.
With more judges to be revealed, the judging team will also take part in a number of 1-2-1 meetings with start-ups exhibiting at Digital DNA.
Alastair Cameron, Head of Start-ups at Digital DNA, said:
“The calibre of the upSTART judging panel is quite simply world-class.
“Through them, we’re letting the world know about the quality of our brilliant start-up ecosystem here in Northern Ireland. The Digital DNA team is proud to be supporting them at the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey.”
Any Northern Ireland-based start-up can apply to upSTART, provided the business is not more than three years old or raised more than £1.5m.
Digital DNA 2019, which is running over two days (18 – 19 June 2019) in Belfast’s St. George’s Market, is powered by PwC for the second consecutive year, and will once again allow the tech sector to collaborate, expand their reach and gain exposure to new technologies.
Tickets and further details of the event can be found now at digitaldna.org.uk and NI start-ups interested in applying to pitch and exhibit at the event should visit the upSTART web page before 28 May 2019.