Prospective entrepreneurs urged to consider New Frontiers programme

The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme is seeking prospective new start ups to participate in its next online programme, which starts on January 12th.

Over three phases, the programme examines an idea’s feasibility, and if that is successful, it helps develop and implement a business plan, with potential funding of up to €22,000.

Geraldine Beirne is the New Frontiers Programme Manager for the North West region.

She says the involvement of development agencies and the Co-Lab facility at the ATU’s Letterkenny campus is a key part of the programme………….

Release in full –

New Frontiers programme open for the North West’s self-starters 

If you have a business idea that you keep mulling over and wish you could pursue, then now might be the time to check out New Frontiers. 

 

New Frontiers is Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme with 14 programmes running across 17 locations nationwide.   

 

Phase 1 aims to help tease out an idea’s feasibility and to see whether a viable proposition exists. New Frontiers North West’s next part time programme starts on 12th January, is completely free and takes place online over 5 weeks.  

 

New Frontiers is funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered in the North West through ATU Sligo and Donegal. It provides access to a range of supports including co-working space at Sligo’s Innovation Centre or Letterkenny’s Co-Lab, 1-to-1 mentoring, master-classes and up to €22,500 in financial support to accelerate the business start-up.  It is a three-phase programme designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development supports to participants. Phase 1 focuses on whether the business idea has market potential. Phase 2’s aim is to provide support in the development of an investor-ready business proposition. The emphasis of Phase 3 is on the implementation of the business plan. 

 

According to the Programme Manager for the region, Geraldine Beirne “New Frontiers is perfect for individuals who are early-stage entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea with export and employment potential”.  

She added “New Frontiers is an integral part of the enterprise ecosystem in the North West designed to drive sustainable economic growth for the region.  Working in partnership with key stakeholders such as the Local Enterprise Offices, Westbic, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Local Development Companies and County Councils, we aim to foster and develop local businesses to become key drivers of employment growth in the region.” 

One of the strengths of the programme is that participants have a direct link with the Technological University, allowing them to tap into expertise and specialisations. At ATU Sligo, this means accessing areas such as product development, design for manufacture, renewable energy and sustainable technologies. At ATU Donegal, this means areas like digital transformation & emerging technologies, design, innovation, creativity & enterprise and life sciences, health & wellbeing. The research collaboration is complementary and invaluable for early-stage entrepreneurs. 

 

Twelve new start-ups in the Northwest are currently on New Frontiers Phase 2, having commenced the programme in September 2022. The businesses range from thai paste pots to web-based learning platform and a new land surveying device. This Phase 2 programme concludes at the end of February. 

 

One of last year’s alumni is Conor Finn with an extensive background in sports performance including working with the Mayo Senior men’s football team. With his co-founder Barry Solan, Strength and Conditioning Coach with Arsenal, they recently set up POD1UM. The company has developed an App which offers everyone from non-professional elite level athletes to weekend warriors, access to world class coaching across a multitude of sports. When asked about the benefits of participating on the New Frontiers programme, Conor said “New Frontiers Phase has been a huge support for me personally & for POD1UM, as myself & co-founder Barry brought the startup from idea to reality. The 1:1 mentoring in particular, but also the workshops and networking opportunities have been highly beneficial in helping us navigate the early stages of our business. I would certainly recommend this programme to anyone taking the first steps in their startup.”  

 

Another participant is Catherine Devine from Letterkenny, whose business Pumpskynz offers protective covers for diabetic devices in a range of attractive colours. Catherine said “The New Frontiers programme came at the right time for me in my business. It challenged me to think strategically about how to grow our customer base internationally. 

 

If you would like to know more about the programme visit  www.newfrontiersnw.ie for full details. 

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