Belfast

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The great football player of the 1960, the Belfast born, Danny Blanchflower once says: "The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom." 

The spirit of Blanchflower lives on in Belfast. Once the home to the world's largest shipyard, Belfast is the city where the Titanic was built and now emerging as a world-class hub in cybersecurity.

Belfast is the 12th largest city in the UK, with a population of 280,000 or so. The actor Kenneth Branagh comes from the city as did the sublime football genius George Best. C.S. Lewis came from Belfast, and he based Nania on the countryside near the city — although so far, no one has found a magic wardrobe.

The city also saw the first live performance of Stairway to Heaven, a song whose melody is to rock music what the poetry of Best and Blanchflower were to football. 

That famous performance of rock took place in 1971, during the troubles that blighted the city.

Today, however, Belfast is a bold city which brings style and panache to entrepreneurship that Blanchflower would have admired. It's the number one destination for US cybersecurity firms looking to invest internationally, according to InvestNI. 

Its two famous universities, Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University both offer acclaimed cybersecurity programmes, a factor behind the growing success of the regoin in this tech sector.  

According to Tech Nation, digital tech companies from Northern Ireland successfully raised £100m from venture capital in 2019, while emerging tech and AI companies have been recipients of significant investment.

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