The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, pictured at Ebrington on Friday morning for the launch of the event. Photo by Jim McCafferty Photography.
Even before the pandemic, the world was evolving and technological innovations were happening at a significant pace.
However, Covid 19 has spurred these changes on at an accelerated pace.
Now, we all need to change how we do things and adapt if we're to thrive in this new economy - whether as individuals, companies, or regions.
And driving that change is the focus of LEVELUP, a two day blended digital and in-person event taking place during Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Enterprise Week 2021.
Drawing on and looking at innovation and best practice from around the world, the event will seek to inspire change and encourage entrepreneurship at a local level, exploring how people, both locally and internationally, have created opportunity, economic growth and initiated real change.
Delivered by Startacus, a startup programme and event facilitation company, in partnership with Council, LEVELUP will consist of a series of inspirational sessions on six core themes over the two-day event, with People and the Economy being the overarching theme on both days.
The core themes are: Smart Places and Rural Innovation, Retail and High-Street, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Health and Wellness, Social Change and Inclusion and Diversity.
Keynote speakers for the two-day virtual will be announced shortly.
The event also aims to showcase and champion innovation and 12-15 early-stage Northern Ireland startups will have the opportunity to compete in a pitch competition, focused on the aforementioned core themes.
Details of the prize fund and news on the application process will be announced in the nect week.
LEVELUP is a follow-on event from LineUP 2020, which took place last March just before the pandemic hit and the world began to go into lockdown.
Alastair Cameron, Co-Founder of Startacus said: “We are delighted to be organising and hosting this event and competition during Enterprise Week.
“The last year has been challenging in many ways, however the tenacity and resilience of entrepreneurs has shone through.
“And it is clear that creativity and entrepreneurship will be at the core as we shape and rebuild our post-pandemic society and economy.
“At LEVELUP we aim to shine a light on innovation and creative initiatives and inform, inspire and empower local people to take their own ideas and businesses further.
“In addition, we want to champion innovative Northern Ireland based early-stage startups via our event startup pitch competition, which this year will focus on companies that can offer disruption and high-growth potential in a post-pandemic world.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, said: “This year’s Enterprise Week will focus on guiding entrepreneurs through the Covid recovery phase and offer expert support in building business resilience and tailoring operations to meet the unprecedented challenges which the easing of restrictions will bring.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Startacus to offer the LEVELUP event which should inspire some post pandemic ideas and spark creativity by exploring how people have innovated and created economic growth during the pandemic.
“It will also be a great opportunity for some local startups to make a pitch for funding to take their business to the next level in the months ahead.”
Featuring a host of keynote speakers, panels and 12 - 15 NI pitching startups, you can register your interest to attend one, or all of the 2 hour themed topics at mailchi.mp/startacus/levelup.
The Startup pitch competition will go live for applications asap and interested NI startups can register their initial interest by emailing Alastair@startacus.net .
Free tickets will be available from the end of March for the 21st and 22nd April 2021 event.
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