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Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers is the nationwide programme for ambitious startup founders with an innovative business idea that has the potential to scale and provide employment.

New Frontiers will equip you with the right connections, the right skills, and the right route to capital. We’ll empower you to build a successful and sustainable startup business.

Ready to develop your idea and turn it into a revenue-generating business? This is the right time!

New Frontiers is for founders who:

Are new to business, have experience in a completely different industry, or haven’t yet successfully scaled a business.
Want to leave full-time employment and grow their own business.
Have an innovative business idea in a commercial market with export and employment potential.
Have experience, expertise, or other direct insight into the sector/industry their business is in.
Have the drive and ambition required to commit fully to building a successful startup

See our Eligibility Criteria page for more details on eligibility.

How does the programme work?

New Frontiers is a programme of three phases, taking you up to readiness for pre-seed fundraising. Whatever your business idea or sector (our alumni come from sectors as diverse as food and drink, consumer products, engineering, medical devices, pharma, digital media, and cleantech), you will develop a wide range of business skills and get expert guidance from advisors and successful entrepreneurs. All this happens in the supportive environment of a local incubation centre, where you and your fellow participants will be based.

Thanks to New Frontiers, thousands of founders in Ireland have developed their connections, confidence, and capital.

Connections

Connect with a vibrant community of founders, business experts, Enterprise Ireland advisers, and Local Enterprise Offices for invaluable support and insights on your journey.

Confidence

Build the knowledge and confidence to thrive as a founder through a comprehensive programme that equips you to navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Capital

Benefit from a support package valued at over €40,000 as you build your business (without giving away any equity) and advice to establish your future fundraising options.

Key features of the New Frontiers programme

Unlike many accelerator programmes, Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme does not take equity in your business. The focus is on developing your founder toolkit, giving you skills you can immediately put to work in your business (for example, customer research, marketing, or financial planning). Key features of New Frontiers include:

  • National access via 13 programmes across Ireland.
  • A €15,000 tax-free allowance for one co-founder/founder (Phase 2, subject to performance). Founders participating in all three phases experience a support package valued at over €40,000.
  • A community of support offering help, advice, collaboration, and feedback when you need it most.
  • Understand the Irish startup ecosystem and how it can help you.
  • One-to-one mentoring with seasoned business mentors from the Enterprise Ireland Mentor Network.
  • Workshops facilitated by industry experts and experienced founders.
  • Networking opportunities and introductions.
  • Access to R&D facilities and specialist expertise at the institute or university.
  • Investment-readiness preparation, including development of a strong business plan.

One programme, three phases

The different phases of New Frontiers bring value at different stages of your startup journey. On each phase, you’ll benefit from a supportive environment in which to discover the proven tactics, core principles, and best practice behind successful startups.

Phase 1 – Part-time evening sessions or weekend bootcamp

Typically held part-time over an 8 to 10 week period, Phase 1 helps you to research and test the market potential of your business idea. These sessions will help you evaluate your idea, understand your customer needs, and identify your value proposition.

  • Part-time across weekends or evenings
  • You can continue in employment
  • A great introduction if you are thinking of applying to Phase 2
  • Helps you arrive at a go/no-go decision
Phase 1 is for very early-stage ideas. Some founders may feel that Phase 2 is a better fit for their level of knowledge and stage of development.

Phase 2 – Full-time for six months

Phase 2 is a full-time six-month intensive commitment and places are offered following a competitive selection process. You will discover how to develop and validate your business proposition as you work on your capacities as a founder. You can expect workshops, mentoring, lunch-and-learns, and regular milestone reviews. New Frontiers has been described by alumni as a mini MBA. It gives you access to insights from those who have gone before and will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of startup life.

  • A support package worth over €30,000, including a €15,000 tax-free allowance (subject to eligibility and satisfactory performance)
  • No equity taken in your business
  • Regular milestone review meetings to monitor your progress
  • Personalised one-to-one mentoring with seasoned business mentors
  • Expert-led workshops in all areas of building a business
  • Access to Enterprise Ireland resources such as our Market Research Centre
  • Expert advice and guidance from an experienced programme team, investors, and alumni
  • Introductions to seed and early-stage capital investment networks
  • Free co-working space (during Phases 2 and 3)
  • Access to third-level R&D facilities and expertise, including interns and graduates
  • Preparation of vital business assets such as a strong business plan
You don’t need to complete Phase 1 in order to apply for Phase 2. However, lots of founders find it beneficial to start with Phase 1.

Phase 3 – Follow-on support and guidance

Having successfully completed Phase 2, participants can apply to Phase 3 of the programme. Additional financial support will be available for eligible participants. During this phase, your are expected to focus on implementing your business plan by bringing your product/service to market and preparing to raise further funding.

  • Further support package valued at over €10,000
  • Introduction to government and private investment support opportunities
  • 3 one-to-one mentoring sessions with Enterprise Ireland mentors
  • Co-working space for a further 3 months
Phase 3 is only available to graduates of Phase 2. There are limited places available; completion of Phase 2 will not guarantee a place on Phase 3.

The New Frontiers programme helped me to understand what investors are looking for within a business plan. Phase 2 allowed me to test my assumptions and make the necessary changes within a supportive environment. Everyone wants you and your business to succeed.

Ivan Tuohy, Great Visitor Experiences

The programme gave me fabulous networking and learning opportunities, I actually met our now CTO and co-founder during Phase 2 at the Synergy Centre two years ago. We’ve received invaluable help and advice from experienced mentors and also was able to avail of the Market Research Centre who gave us access to several detailed reports on our industry and its trends.

Sonia Neary, Wellola

For me, the purpose of joining New Frontiers was not only to develop our investor-ready skillset but also to improve my personal business skills, network and exposure to the start-up community in Ireland. The programme gave me the confidence I needed and also showed us the support available from Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland to grow our business.

Derya Sousa, Kianda Technologies

New Frontiers brought clarity, focus and a real solid sense check on whether my idea for Frankli had the potential to be a viable, scalable business. The detailed business plan output from the programme laid a solid foundation from which we continue to execute today.

Noel Dykes, Frankli Communication Technologies

New Frontiers facilitated the growth of TeachKloud in just under 6 months. TeachKloud went from an idea to a viable business with the training and support offered through New Frontiers. The peer to peer support is also invaluable. Having New Frontiers based in the Rubicon is a key feature of the programme as participants have access to the full Rubicon Team in addition to the other supports available on the Cork Campus.

Wendy Oke, TeachKloud

New Frontiers is a place where you can shape your idea into a business with a group of peers and prepare your business plan for scrutiny from venture capitalists. It’s been instrumental in establishing a solid base for our continued success and the contacts we made during the programme will of course always be useful for advice and guidance going forward.

David Whelan, Immersive VR Education

How to apply to the New Frontiers programme

Please refer to our Eligibility Criteria to ensure that New Frontiers is a good fit for you and ensure there are no factors that might exclude you from the programme.

If you are interested in applying, the first step is to register your interest with your nearest participating Technological University/Institute of Technology. You can do this using our simple online form (this is not an application, simply the start of the process). A Programme Manager will get in touch to discuss your project and you will then be sent an application form.

You 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.

Have an idea or fledgling business that you want to get off the ground? If you have the drive to build a sustainable new business, create employment, and generate revenue, we’ll equip you with the right connections, the right skills, and the right route to capital.

This is the right time! Register your interest in New Frontiers and a Programme Manager will be in touch to guide you through the application process.