I’ve been contacted by a few people who seem rather insistent I crawl out of my grumpy cave as I’m not really commenting on things and haven’t done for most of the year.

I took the bait…. I fell for it.

You can read the full story and list of startups here.

A Big Whacking Great Disclaimer…..

If you think this post is about me having a go at the 5.25% who made it to £15k and a desk, nah, it’s not happening. Good luck to y’all and all the best.

It does however point to a far more interesting topic.

What about the other 94.75%?

That’s where the interesting data is, this is where I start asking the questions like, “What made those 21 more eligible than the 379?”

Don’t believe me? I asked….

This is where the gold is…. because what I want to know is this:

If I wrote an algorithm to judge the 400, would my predictions of success match those of the IgniteNI judging panel?

What makes one idea better than the other? What does the market look like for the 21 who made it through to the Digital X Factor? How does investment levels in Northern Ireland in these ventures look compared to the rest of Europe (I don’t even count Silicon Valley as a reference point now).

So many questions!

What’s the judging criteria?

Who’s the judging panel and their pedigree (previous exits etc)?

Are founders putting in multiple ideas just to get the £15k (now that’s a rather interesting question).

What measures success in the programme……. and could any of the other 379 matched that?

And for IgniteNI, would an algorithm find the diamond in the rust that they could have already passed on (quick answer, yes, likely, but it could happen to any incubator or accelerator).

If there was a betting market for the 21, where would the outside world put it’s money? Now that is the interesting question….

So, will I ever get to see the 379? I’m working on odds of 2000/1 that I will……