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Ballymena business named Rising Star at NI StartUp Award Finals


Ballymena-based startup Cubefun has been named as the Rising Star at the Northern Ireland Final of the StartUp Awards National Series.


The StartUp Awards National Series debuted this year to highlight the dynamic startup scene across the country that skyrocketed during the pandemic, and has been rolled out in nine UK nations and regions, supported nationally by BT, Clearco, Moblox, Fearless Adventures and with regional support from Moja Group.


Caitrin Kincaid is a local mum who created a kids activity cube to get her young kids moving more indoors  during the lockdown of 2020.

She launched the product onto the UK market in August 2021 and is stocked in local retailers, has her own website and has just added her products on to Amazon Marketplace.


The final was held at the Ulster Museum in Belfast and saw fourteen different awards given out to new businesses in categories such as global startup of the year, creative startup of the year and young entrepreneur of the year.


The awards were judged by a panel of prominent local judges, including Dave Linton, of Madlug, Dr Roisin Molloy of Trimedika and Audrey Osbourne of TechStart Ventures.


The Judging Panel had this to say about Cubefun:


"This is a lovely, simple idea to get kids on the move again with lots of potential around tailoring and supporting additional needs. Figuring out how to scale production and marketing will be key to future success. It's very impressive to take on this challenge and develop it during lockdown.

“The passion is obvious to see and the commitment shown to upskilling around marketing and business development is very commendable and inspiring - a great role model for start-ups."


Originally formed as the Wales StartUp Awards in 2016, the Awards Series has joined forces with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to take the celebration of newly formed businesses nationwide.

Creator of the awards Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE said the inaugural event had recognised the amazing entrepreneurial talent that exists across Northern Ireland.


“We’re so proud of the amazing reception the first year of the StartUp Awards National Series has had across all the nations and regions of the UK.

“We have heard exceptional stories of dedication and passion from founders of new Northern Ireland firms, and it was an honour to showcase these local entrepreneurial heroes in Belfast last night.

“With record numbers of new businesses being created in Northern Ireland, there is no better time to celebrate the achievements of these amazing businesses that are creating employment and wealth in their local communities.


“A huge congratulations to all the category winners and especially to the team at Scanmatrix that, like many others, started and traded during the Covid pandemic and through resilience, innovation, and sheer hard work, have succeeded and thrived during the most difficult economic circumstances. They, and many of the other winners, are going to have a major impact on their sector in years to come and we look forward to seeing what’s next for these amazing entrepreneurs and their businesses.”


Tara Pollock, Director of Corporate Affairs, Enterprise at BT said:

“It has been a pleasure to be a judge for the Awards Series and see the incredible work that startups have been doing across areas such as B2B, professional services and future innovation.


“At BT, we are committed to championing the cause of small businesses and startups because we recognise the creativity and value they bring to our economy. I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all the winners on their achievements and wish them well for the future.”


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