Proof of Concept grants for novel business ideas

News article

Grants for early-stage entrepreneurs

The Techstart Proof of Concept grant fund is a pre-commercial grant awarding fund. On a competitive basis, the fund supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.

The grant funding comes in the form of a:

  • concept grant of up to £10,000
  • concept plus grant of up to £35,000

For both types of grant, eligible activities for support include but are not limited to:

  • concept/prototype development
  • market research
  • market validation
  • market testing activities
  • assessment of the uniqueness of intellectual property
  • employment costs where a clear output will be delivered

Eligibility criteria

To apply for grants, you must be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. You must also have an innovative/novel concept to prove.

The principal applicant must be resident in Northern Ireland. If the principal applicant is applying through a limited company, then the company must be registered in Northern Ireland with the principal applicant being the majority shareholder in the company.

How to apply

Both forms of grant funding are currently open for applications:

  • concept grant - closing 5pm Tuesday 5 March 2024
  • concept plus grant - closing 5pm Tuesday 23 April 2024

Potential applications can book a 30 minute Zoom meeting with the Techstart Team to talk about their business idea and learn how the grant funds could help.

Find information on the Proof of Concept grants and apply via the application portal.

All eligible applicants will be invited to a pitch session with Techstart.

First published 14 November 2023