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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 with little or no experience in starting a business
  • 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 a €15,000 tax-free stipend in Phase 2, subject to satisfactory performance – no equity is taken in your business
  • Further support is 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

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 in Phase 2, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • Further support is available in Phase 3 for eligible participants.
  • Unlike other accelerator programmes – no equity is taken in your business
  • 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.
  • Personalised one-to-one mentoring and investor panel sessions offered by seasoned business mentors from the Enterprise Ireland Mentor network
  • It offers regional access to applicants across 13 programmes and 17 locations.
  • Expert advice and guidance from an experienced programme team, business practitioners, investors and other entrepreneurs within the Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities.
  • Practitioner-led workshops in all areas of building a business.
  • Regular milestone review meetings to monitor your progress.
  • Access to Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre.
  • Introductions to seed and early-stage capital investment networks.
  • Free co-working space (during Phases 2 and 3).
  • Access to R&D facilities and specialist expertise from within the Institutes of Technology/Universities, including access to interns and graduates.
  • Support and guidance in the development of a strong business plan.

Phase 3: Implementing The Business Plan

Having successfully completed Phase 2, participants can apply to participate in Phase 3 of the programme. Additional financial support will be available for eligible participants. 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 early-stage entrepreneurs with little or no experience in starting a business who are based, and intend to run their business, 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.

What would exclude me from the programme?

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 you or a co-founder has received previous state funding for this or any other 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.)

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the programme in their nearest location in order to benefit from local supports and networking events.  Also, it will be expected that participants attend sessions on campus during the programme.  

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!

Have A Startup Idea? Register Your Interest In New Frontiers And One Of Our Programme Managers Will Be In Touch Soon!