techstartNI is dedicated to working with ambitious entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland through the provision of finance and advice.

techstartNI is managed by Pentech Ventures, one of Europe’s leading venture capital fund management groups.

The techstartNI team has strong operational and fund management experience that can help you build your scalable technology businesses faster.

Equity Funding

We seek to be the seed investment partner for the best and most ambitious entrepreneurial founding teams in Northern Ireland.

As a team, we work tirelessly to help our companies win customers, make key hires, and develop strategies and tactics to achieve the fastest possible growth in the value of the company.

We seek to be trusted peers and partners to help entrepreneurs realise their vision with experienced and timely support. With our backing, Founders can focus on customer development and validating their business model.

If your team is trying to raise a first round of up to £250,000 (which can be greater with syndication) to fund your Company for up to 18 months to a series A funding event and beyond, then please do talk with us.

Among the many partners we have co-invested with – Funds such as Schroders and KKR; VCs such as NEA, Balderton, DN Capital, SEP, Octopus. DFJ/DFJ Esprit, Paladin, Partech and Corporate Ventures such as NTT DoCoMo, Intel, Qualcomm and Google – we have access to networks of capital to help fuel the most ambitious of global plans.

Contact us and let us see if we can help you make your Company a success.

Contact Us


Each member of the techstartNI team has got operational experience that could be of use to you. We are confident that working together with you, we can help you achieve greater success quicker.


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Amy Doherty
Hal is the Partner in Pentech Ventures with specific responsibility for the techstartNI initiative. Successful investments that Hal has led include Avalon Instruments Limited (sold to Perkin Elmer Inc), Audio Processing Technology Limited (sold to Audemat Group), APT Licensing Limited (sold to CSR plc) and Lagan Technologies Limited (sold to Kana Software Inc).   A Chartered Accountant, prior to becoming a VC in 1996, Hal spent 8 years working in the corporate finance advisory market with PWC.

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Hal Wilson

Hal Wilson

Jamie has significant operational and commercial experience within VC-backed businesses, having helped raise over $50m for early stage companies. A qualified CA, he was previously Financial Controller of BSkyB New Media. Following the £1.5 billion acquisition of Interactive TV by BSkyB in 2001, he joined Lagan Technologies as CFO, where he helped the company grow from £0.5m to over £15m in revenues. He then moved to San Franscisco to join RainStor, a VC-backed big data Company as COO, taking it to a trade sale in late 2014 before joining the techstartNI team.

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Jamie Andrews

Jamie Andrews

Sandy is a Partner at Pentech Venture and techstartNI - with responsibility for the NI University Seed Funds. He is experienced in and enjoys working with early-stage companies from start-up/spin-out, through growth, to exit. Sandy has been active for the last 16 years in 'full life-cycle' investing; fundraising and exits of a number of successful companies. He has been helping commercialise technology from Universities for the majority of his adult life.

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Sandy McKinnon

Sandy McKinnon

With a background in corporate finance and investment management, Caroline has worked in financing and development of early stage companies for nearly 20 years. Between 2008 and 2016, Caroline worked in the Innovation team within Ulster University. In 2013 she became Head of Investment and Enterprise, managing Ulster University’s investment portfolio and oversaw its most successful commercialisation period in terms of portfolio company exits. Caroline’s time is split between Belfast and Derry.

Caroline McGoran

Caroline McGoran
Kathleen manages techstartNI's Proof of Concept Grant Fund. Prior to joining Pentech, Kathleen worked for a London-based VC & Fund Manager. She is passionate about connecting people, ideas and technology, and leads many of our Investor Awareness sessions; she is also the NI Facilitator for 9others - a global network of round table problem-solving dinners for entrepreneurs.

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Kathleen Garrett

Kathleen Garrett

Amy manages the techstartNI Proof of Concept Fund and team. Prior to joining techstartNI Amy worked on the NISPO Fund as PoC Fund Manager and Investment Analyst. An active women's politics representative, Amy is passionate about social policy. She regularly organises fashion fundraising events in her spare time.



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Amy Doherty


Amy Doherty - Amy Doherty
Jennifer serves as Finance Administrator working with early stage start-ups in the Proof of Concept fund as well as engaging entrepreneurs in the Investment Awareness Programme. Jennifer has worked with a range of both local and international funding bodies across a variety of programmes.

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Jennifer McCullough

Jennifer McCullough

Callum studies Economics with Finance at Queen's University Belfast and has recently joined the techstartNI team for his placement year. When Callum isn't working he enjoys keeping fit, travelling and watching Jamie’s Fantasy Football team fail.



Callum Wall

Callum Wall


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Proof of concept

We manage the techstartNI Proof of Concept Grant Fund.

On a competitive basis this fund seeks to support entrepreneurs with grants directed towards exploring the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.

The funding comes in the form of a “Concept” Grant (of up to £10k) and a “Concept Plus” Grant (of up to £25k).

Next Concept Grant Closing Date – 5pm Tuesday 17th January 2017 with decisions being made by March 2017.

Next Concept Plus Grant Closing Date – 5pm Tuesday 7th February 2017 with decisions being made by May 2017.

For more information on the PoC Fund please click on the “Hints & Tips” button below and to view the application forms click on “Get Started”.

Get in touch

If you think your business is a good fit for us, or simply have a question for us please get in touch.

3rd Floor
21 Talbot Street

028 90 325 506