About New Frontiers

New Frontiers is the national entrepreneurial development programme for ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas which have the potential to scale and provide employment. It provides the skills, support, and confidence needed to make the leap to starting a successful business.

New Frontiers is designed for individuals who:

  • Are early-stage entrepreneurs
  • May be in full-time employment but have the desire to start their own business
  • Have an innovative business idea with export and employment potential
  • Can show evidence of a commercial market for their proposed product/service
  • Have experience, sectoral and/or technical knowledge in the area of their business idea
  • Have the drive and ambition required to commit fully to building a successful start-up

See the eligibility section below for more details on eligibility.

How does New Frontiers benefit entrepreneurs?

  • It offers regional access to applicants across 14 programmes and 16 locations.
  • Open to business ideas from across all sectors including food & consumer products; information & communication technology; engineering & electronics; medical devices; biotechnology; pharma, digital media; cleantech/renewable energy; and eligible internationally-traded services
  • Support package valued at €30,000 including €15,000 tax-free stipend in Phase 2, subject to satisfactory performance – no equity is taken in your business
  • Further support available in Phase 3 to the value of €10,000+
  • Personalised one-to-one mentoring offered by seasoned business mentors from the Enterprise Ireland Mentor network.
  • Expert advice and guidance from an experienced programme team, business practitioners, investors and other entrepreneurs within the Institutes of Technology and Universities.
  • Access to R&D facilities and specialist expertise from within the Institutes of Technology/Universities, including access to interns and graduates.
  • Practitioner-led workshops in all areas of building a business.
  • Regular milestone review meetings to monitor your progress.
  • Free co-working space (during Phase 2 and 3).
  • Support and guidance in the development of a strong business plan.

Programme detail

New Frontiers is a three-phase programme, consisting of practical and interactive workshops, personalised one-to-one mentoring, financial support and co-working space. New Frontiers is a game-changer for anyone serious about developing their business idea into a successful start-up.

Expertise and guidance for your startup New Frontiers

Phase 1: Test your business idea

Held part-time over an 8-10 week period, Phase 1 will help you to research and test the market potential of your business idea. These weekend and evening workshops will provide information and general start-up training, allowing you to evaluate if your idea can be turned into a viable proposition.

Key Benefits:

  • Part-time across week-ends or evenings
  • You can continue in employment
  • Prepares you for accessing Phase 2
  • Helps you arrive at a go/no-go decision

What kind of businesses go through New Frontiers?

Wondering if New Frontiers would suit you? Here are a few examples of businesses from our class of 2018.

Phase 2: Develop The Business

Phase 2 is a full-time six-month intensive engagement and places are offered following a competitive selection process. The focus will be on developing and validating your business proposition. You will do this with the support of workshops, mentoring,  regular milestone reviews, free co-working space and the expertise and guidance from the programme team within the Institute/University.

Key Benefits:

  • Support package valued at €30,000 including a €15,000 tax-free stipend – subject to satisfactory performance – with no equity taken in your business
  • Practitioner-led workshops covering all aspects of building a successful start-up
  • 5 x one-to-one mentoring sessions with seasoned mentors from the Enterprise Ireland mentor panel
  • Free co-working space
  • Access to expertise within the Institute of Technology/University, i.e. research centres, graduates, etc.
  • Support & Guidance in developing a strong business plan
  • Web hosting and support from Amazon worth $15,000

Phase 3: Implementing The Business Plan

Having successfully completed Phase 2, participants can apply to participate in Phase 3 of the programme. During this phase, participants will focus on implementing their business plan by bringing their product/service to market and preparing to acquire further funding.

Key Benefits:

  • Further support package valued at €10,000+
  • Co-working space for further 3 months
  • Introduction to government and private investment support opportunities
  • Additional 3 x one-to-one mentoring sessions

Am I eligible? Who should apply?

The New Frontiers programme is for entrepreneurs who are based in Ireland. The programme is open to applicants over the age of 18 from a range of sectors including food & consumer products; information & communication technology; engineering & electronics; medical devices; biotechnology; pharma, digital media; cleantech/renewable energy; and eligible internationally traded services.

Business concepts based on the following ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for support:

  • Retail outlets and professional services, including consultancies that are not engaged in internationally traded services.
  • Areas of enterprise which involve displacement of existing jobs or businesses including builders, hairdressers, cafes, pubs, hotels, general printers, construction, trades etc.
  • Conferences and seminars.
  • Businesses which are contrary to public policy, i.e. goods/services for military use, adult entertainment services, tobacco and related ventures, cannabis-based products.
  • Activities that fall within gambling or “gaming” as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.
  • Business projects receiving assistance from other state agencies or EU funded operational programmes – i.e. dual funding.
  • Please note that if have received previous state funding for your business idea, it may have a bearing on your eligibility to receive the Phase 2 stipend. Please see the FAQ page for more information.

How do I apply?

The first step is to register your interest with your nearest participating University/Institute of Technology. You can do this using our simple online form. A Programme Manager will get in touch to discuss your project and you will then be sent an application form. (Please note: no applications will be available from or considered by Enterprise Ireland.)

If you believe that you are capable of building a sustainable new business, creating employment and generating revenue in your locality, act now and apply for a place on Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme!

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