With two universities producing high quality graduates, a strong digital tech community, low cost of living and desirable property prices, Belfast is an increasingly attractive place to start – and grow – a digital tech company.
Once famed for aerospace and shipbuilding, the city now has the highest density of fibre in Europe. Its connectivity goes beyond broadband. Good air and rail connections link it to Dublin, London and further afield.
Invest NI offers support to early stage startups while access to finance is improving through the work of local angel network HALO and funds such as techstartNI and the Invest Growth Fund.
Kainos is working with the Land Registry to build its LLC Register, consolidating local authority registers into a single, digital register. Catalyst Inc, (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park), unveiled its 10 year plan to develop one million square feet of office space and to create 5,000 jobs.
One of Europe’s biggest cyber security conferences, OWASP’s AppSec EU, comes to Belfast in May in recognition of the city’s status as a leading cluster in cyber security.
Many more cyber security multinationals are likely to move to Belfast. They will be joining the likes of Alert Logic and Black Duck Software, which have both expanded operations in the city in 2016.
New co-working spaces are opening up to support Belfast’s success. Ormeau Baths is set to open soon, and new sites are opening at the Forthriver Business Park – a major redevelopment programme built on the site of the old Mackie’s engineering plant.
B-Secur is the next generation in biometric authentication - securing devices, apps and data with ECG technology. We use a person’s unique heartbeat electrical wave to authenticate them against a stored profile.
Belfast is a cybersecurity hub within the UK. The partnership we have developed with the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University has been hugely significant. We have been able to work alongside some of the brightest minds in the UK as we develop our pioneering technology.
Sensum is an emotional insights and AI company. At our core is a platform for capturing and analysing data from people and the world around them, in real time, to derive emotional insights. Ultimately all of our work helps brands to understand their audience better and create exciting and engaging content, products, and experiences.
Being Belfast based has enabled us to evolve as a company that looks 'into the bubble' objectively, rather than be caught up in it. This has allowed us to build a distinctive brand so we stand out from more corporate organisations in the marketplace. At our heart we're a company of creative adventurers and we’re incredibly proud of our roots!