9 promising startups driving growth of tech ecosystem in Belfast



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Famed for shipbuilding, Belfast in Northern Ireland has witnessed a significant growth in terms of tech startups. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the region is a hotbed of innovation, especially in sectors such as healthtech, fintech and cybersecurity among others. Of late, Belfast’s tech startup scene has witnessed growth as well as success.

Though this region does not have as many tech startups as the other cities in the UK, it is progressing at a rapid pace with some of the popular startups across industries. Also, there is a growing base of VC investors and accelerators such as Start Planet in the region. Detailing the success of tech startups in Belfast, here are 9 notable ones across popular sectors as sourced from Dealroom.

Picture credits: Analytics Engines

Analytics Engines

Founder: Scott Fischaber
Funding: €1.4 million
Founded year: 2008

Why its hot: Analytics Engines powered by advanced technologies are the trusted data analytics partner to local and global customers across industry and the public sector. Its collaborative and creative team empowers organisations with market-leading data-driven insights that will minimise complexity, build intelligence, and optimise performance. Analytics Engines offers end-to-end solution capability, extensive data analytics and machine learning experience, and more. This startup is the creator of Big Data Belfast, one of the leading data and tech events in Northern Ireland.

Picture credits: B-Secur


Founder: Colin Anderson
Funding: €11.8 million
Founded year: 2014

Why its hot: B-Secur was founded to harness the unique electrical signal (ECG) of an individual’ heartbeat for authentication. It launched Heartkey at CES 2019, which is a wearable that combines advanced physiological monitoring and user identification for health and wellness purposes. It can monitor heart rate, stress, and fatigue in real-life situations such as driving. And, it lets users monitor their health in real-time right at the comfort of their home.

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Picture credits: Liopa


Founders: Richard McConnell, Fabian Campbell-West
Founded year: 2015

Why its hot: Liopa is a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT). The company is a leading independent provider of biometric authentication and verification technology. It commercialises over a decade of research in the field of Speech and Image processing with focus on lip movements for robust speed recognition in real-world situations. Liopa has a successful track record in developing successful hi-tech software product startups.

Picture credits: ProtectBox


Founder: Kiran Bhagotra
Founded year: 2017

Why its hot: ProtectBox is one of the pioneer search and comparison engines that help businesses find the right cybersecurity products and solutions. ProtectBox is an innovative but powerful answer to the dilemma of many small businesses that face overwhelming cyber protection advice. ProtectBox can help make small businesses and individuals across all sectors more secure. It can help them bring competitive advantage to their business and online activities.

Picture credits: Continually


Founder: Paul McKeever
Founded year: 2018

Why its hot: Continually is an automated alternative to live chat for sales that helps you convert more website visitors to customers. It is a simple and easy-to-use tool that B2B software companies can add to their website and start engaging customers in just 60 seconds. Continually replaces forms with simple messaging, making it easy for customers to get the information that they need as quickly as possible.

Picture credits: Sensum


Founders: Gawain Morrison, Shane McCourt
Funding: €1.4 million
Founded year: 2011

Why its hot: Belfast-based Sensum is lets multiple industries looking forward to capture, understand and act on emotions. Its portfolio includes a unified emotion AI powered by its Synsis engine. Sensum builds empathic AI algorithms that turn human data into emotion, physiology & behaviour insights. It measures human states and emotions and automates empathy to enhance human-machine interaction. Sensum operates on a model of multimodal sensor fusion analysing data from a wide range of sources such as biometrics and contextual.

Picture credits: Neurovalens


Founders: Jason McKeown, Paul McGeoch
Funding: €9.9 million
Founded year: 2013

Why its hot: Neurovalens is a pioneer in non-invasive medical technology. It delivers innovative solutions in the fields of bioscience, neuroscience, and neurophysiology with the intention to solve some of the greatest health challenges in the world. Its first product Modius was launched in 2017. It was designed to help enhance the lives of people struggling with their weight using neuro-technology to help make weight loss much easier.

Picture credits: axial3D


Founder: Daniel Crawford
Funding: €3.3 million
Founded year: 2014

Why its hot: axial3D is a medical 3D printing company, which specialises patient-specific medical models production generation from CT, patient, MRI, and PET data to improve the efficiency of surgical intervention. The company is developing an automated 3D printing solution focused on the healthcare sector to advance the standards and efficiency of surgery across the world. This Belfast-based startup offers a range of solutions for healthcare institutions at each stage of their 3D printing journey.

Picture credits: DisplayNote


CEO: Paul Brown
Funding: €2.6 million
Founded year: 2012

Why its hot: DisplayNote builds technologies designed to make it relatively easier for people to present, connect, share, and collaborate in real-time across desktop, mobile devices, and large-format displays. It has achieved a major breakthrough by inking a deal with NEC to have a screen-sharing tech installed on PCs. DisplayNote also powers some of the world’s leading interactive displays, making them more collaborative. Its vision is to create a world where the sharing of content is as easy as saying ‘hello’.

Main image picture credits: Neurovalens

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Editorial team

The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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