New Frontiers is the national programme designed to develop entrepreneurs. It is delivered on behalf of Enterprise Ireland by Institutes of Technology and Universities across Ireland. The programme’s primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.
New Frontiers is designed for individuals who:
- Have an innovative business idea with export and employment potential
- Can show evidence of a commercial market for their proposed product/service
- Are ambitious, growth-orientated and committed to engaging fully in all aspects of the programme
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have an innovative business idea that has the potential to create a manufacturing or internationally traded services business OR a new domestically-traded service business in Ireland.
- Can show clear evidence of a commercial market for their proposed product/service.
- Are ambitious and have the capability and commitment needed to develop a sustainable business.
- Are growth-orientated and committed to engage fully in all aspects of the programme.
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!