NI Connections
Mon 30 March

New online platform launched connects NI Start-ups with European Investors

The new platform will help the growing number of start-up businesses in Northern Ireland connect with investors, peers and potential new recruits across Europe. is based on a strategic partnership between Danske Bank, Catalyst Inc and Rainmaking, a global cooperative of entrepreneurs.

Danske Bank said will help connect start-ups to relevant resources, such as talent, networks, financing, tools and advice from experts which will help them overcome some of the challenges of scaling up. 

The project has been fueled by Danske’s wish to help Northern Ireland companies to grow, especially early-stage companies with a global outlook and the ambition to expand fast.

David Allister, Head of Digital Partnerships and Alliances at Danske Bank, explained: 

"We want to make it as easy as possible for start-ups to deal with some of the challenges related to scalability, such as recruiting the right people, gaining access to funding and finding the tools they need quickly."

David added: "The Hub will help start-ups screen potential investors to find the ones that are most relevant to their business. For investors, we want The Hub to be a digital community where they can find great local businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in.

"Our ambition for The Hub is to increase interaction between the start-up ecosystem in Northern Ireland and the ecosystems in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark." provides start-ups with an overview of some of the available funding sources, making it easier for them to navigate through some of the options. In early-stage start-ups, it is also really important to get help with recruitment. Because being a start-up is not a one-person show, and hiring can be challenging

Conall Keenan, Hub Manager

Hub user - loyalBe

One of the companies already using is Belfast-based start-up loyalBe, which has a created a data-driven marketing platform for small retailers that helps them increase customer retention and drive repeat sales.

Cormac Quinn, founder of loyalBe, said: At loyalBe we are aiming to replace the need for multiple paper loyalty cards, which are inefficient and easily lost, with a single mobile app that lets consumers earn rewards by paying with their bank card. It’s a solution we believe has huge potential for the retail sector around the world and so, as we develop the product and grow our business, it will be hugely important for us to be able to tap into the talent, investment and knowledge that exists in other geographies.

Being linked into represents a great opportunity for us to get loyalBe known outside Northern Ireland and to access valuable resources and opportunities easily, in one place

Cormac Quinn - loyalBe

The Hub is completely free to use for start-ups, applicants and investors. 

The launch of follows the recent opening of the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub co-working space in the ground floor of Danske Bank’s Belfast city centre headquarters.

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