Belfast start up announced as NI winner of Tech for Good contest

TapSOS has been announced as the Northern Ireland regional winner of the Super Connect for Good competition run by Hays, the recruiting experts and start-up connectors Empact Ventures.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 5:00 pm
Becca Hume, founder of TapSOS

The competition recognised TapSOS as the best emerging tech start up in Northern Ireland that brings positive social change and enhances people’s lives through technology.

It was one of eight regional winners across the UK and Ireland and the company also placed second in the national final behind Beam, the London regional winner.

TapSOS is a smartphone app providing non-verbal contact with emergency services (999). It has been designed to be highly visual with a universal language to simplify connection to emergency services in stressful situations. The user is able to understand and process information quickly and efficiently while receiving guidance and reassurance.

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When an emergency is reported, TapSOS automatically identifies and displays the user’s location rapidly through GPS. This is then provided to emergency services. Compared to an average four-minute telephone call to 999, users can report an emergency with TapSOS in under one minute. At present,

those unable to telephone 999 can use an emergency SMS service, However, this technology is limited and has reported issues concerning speed, ease of use and accuracy.

Second place in Northern Ireland was awarded to See.Sense and Ethel Care came third. The regional winners and the national winner were awarded a selection of prizes worth over £90,000.

Becca Hume, founder of TapSOS, said: “It has been incredible being recognised as a regional winner of the Super Connect for Good competition and I have already had the opportunity to connect with a wide network of talented entrepreneurs from across the UK as part of this process. Winning a competition like this is very important for raising brand awareness of our product and gaining support to progress to the next stage of development. The feedback from the regional judges has been very encouraging and it’s moments like this that help reinforce what you do and why you do it. Hopefully, by sharing our story, more people will learn about what we do and how it can benefit them.”

Juliann Deegan, Business Director at Hays Digital Technology and one of the regional judges, commented: “As a judge for the Northern Ireland region I was proud to review the applications of our Tech for Good competition. The high standard of the entries from our tech start-up and scale-up community is a testimony to the talent that is emerging and exists here. Thank you to all of the entries and I would like to congratulate TapSOS, our regional winner.”

Kosta Mavroulakis, Founder & CEO, Empact Ventures, continued: “It was fantastic to receive such high-quality applications from across Northern Ireland and we thank our regional judges from Hays, Angoka, Top Business Tech and Sonrai Analytics for volunteering their time. TapSOS deserve their place as the regional winner for Northern Ireland who is addressing a situation that anyone could face at any time in the future.”

Gerard Loughran, Head of Engineering, Sonraí Analytics and one of the regional judges, added: “I was delighted by the overall high standard of tech startup applicants from within Northern Ireland, it will be companies like these that bring the required innovation, know-how, and passion to solve the most critical problems our society currently faces. The regional winner demonstrated not only a measurably viable solution to major health & social problems but also a clear roadmap and solid business approach that would support mass exportation of their product.”

The competition’s partners include OVHcloud, Microsoft for Startups, National Institute for Health Research Surgical MedTech Co-operative, UnLtd, Young Enterprise, Linkilaw Solicitors, Top Business Tech, eOffice, Angels Den, PUBLIC, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds City Council, Global Entrepreneurship Network UK and Global Entrepreneurship Week UK.

Visit the Super Connect for Good website for a list of all regional winners: www.superconnectforgood.com/

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