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funding & support

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Bad Elevator Pitches

By New Frontiers blog
You may have a fantastic startup idea, but unless you can effectively communicate it to investors that is all it might ever be – an idea. The good news is that even the most terrible elevator pitches can be polished and honed until they sing. If you’re looking for secrets to pitching success, then it starts with knowing what not to do… 1.     You’ve forgotten that you’re pitching to a human being This is a very common mistake entrepreneurs make when they first start pitching. Rather than recognising that investors can be persuaded to be as passionate and excited about your startup as you are, it is easy to fall into the trap of treating them like the inscrutable sphinx....
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Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business targets diversity - New Frontiers programme

Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business

By New Frontiers blog
Enterprise Ireland has launched the Action Plan For Women In Business, an ambitious and wide-reaching strategy to achieve greater representation of women in business and, particularly, in business leadership across Ireland. We spoke to Sheelagh Daly at Enterprise Ireland to find out more. Numerous studies prove that having women in executive positions and on boards leads to better outcomes for organisations – with better financial performance and higher employee engagement. Putting women in decision-making roles improves all kinds of business metrics, but we are still not seeing gender parity in business. An ongoing commitment to gender balance Focusing on gender balance in business is not new for Enterprise Ireland. There have been a number of initiatives over the past years...
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4 actions entrepreneurs need to take to scale up quickly New Frontiers Entrepreneur programme (1)

4 actions entrepreneurs need to take to scale up quickly

By New Frontiers blog
So, you think your startup is scalable. You’ve looked at your turnover, you’ve studied the market and you believe your business could handle a bigger piece of the pie. That’s great, but growing your business successfully requires not only a shift in operations but a change in mindset. With all the research and speculation that goes on in the business industry, you can be sure there are known habits and practices that successful entrepreneurs adopt to grow their business. We’re going to share a few of them with you to get you started on your road to success. Scale up your startup with these great business tips 1) Visualise success and set a deadline for it The first step to...
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A framework for founders how one VC thinks about pre-seed investments - New Frontiers

A framework for founders: how one VC thinks about pre-seed investments

By New Frontiers blog
‘When Frontline say we invest early, we mean it.’ At Frontline, 70% of our investments have been pre-revenue and 60% pre-product. At Pre-Seed and Seed, there is little to be learned from intensive quantitative analysis pre-investment (woo). That said, over the past year and a half at Frontline, I’ve built a qualitative framework, designed around four key questions, to help me quickly assess the companies I meet. Together, I believe that these four questions are critical in predicting success.  1. Can you convince me to quit my job? The first question I ask myself is, would I quit my job at the fund and work for these people on this problem? I know, it seems like a completely crazy idea, you...
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Financial advice every entrepreneur needs to hear - New Frontiers - Ireland (1)

Financial advice every startup entrepreneur needs to hear

By New Frontiers blog
Make sure the money coming in is more than the money going out - that’s the crux of accounting, right? Well, that’s not bad advice, but it’s not exactly helpful either. The day-to-day, month-to-month monitoring of a company’s finances requires a more detailed approach if you aim to make a profit, identify new opportunities and grow your business. If you want your company to thrive beyond the shaky startup phase, past the inevitable “bad year” and towards a stable and profitable future, then you need to ensure your company is financially healthy. What does that mean? A financially healthy company has the appropriate strategies in place to maintain regular cash flow, be protected during rainy days, secure profits, invest wisely...
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Cork 14 entrepreneurs on their way to success - New Fronteirs

Cork: 14 entrepreneurs on their way to success!

By New Frontiers blog
September 2018 marks an exciting milestone for 14 new start-up businesses in Cork, as they embark on a full time six-month intensive development programme to support their business growth. New Frontiers - The National Programme For Developing Entrepreneurs is delivered locally at the Rubicon Centre in Cork Institute of Technology. These 14 participants follow in the footsteps of 97 other start-up founders who have completed the programme at CIT, which has supported over 1,000 entrepreneurs nationally. 14 innovative startup ideas The 2018 cohort reflects a wide variety of sectors: Christina O Dwyer who is developing a new ostomy baseplate and bag to provide users with a reliable, ergonomic appliance. Daniel Mulcahy who is providing a cost-effective way for airline passengers...
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Innovation: give your SME a competitive edge with SBIR

Innovation: give your SME a competitive edge with SBIR

By New Frontiers blog
Young companies tend to be perfect micro-cultures for the development of novel approaches to common problems. Enterprise Ireland manages a national pre-commercial procurement programme, Small Business Innovation Research Ireland (SBIR), designed to tap into this well of innovation. Does your start-up have the drive and vision to come up with a workable prototype to overcome a societal problem? If yes, keep reading to find out what is involved in this great public-private partnership! Public-private partnership through SBIR SBIR is a global innovative pre-commercial procurement initiative. It aims to address public sector needs and more generally benefit citizens, through engagement with the private sector. The public sector body (or challenge owner) in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, identifies an unmet need or...
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Phase 2 New Frontiers launch at Galway-Mayo July 2018

12 high-potential entrepreneurs commence New Frontiers at GMIT

By New Frontiers blog
12 ambitious entrepreneurs with innovative startup ideas have made it through a competitive selection process for Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme in Galway, funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The future business leaders started the programme yesterday, which is delivered by GMIT at its Innovation Hubs in Galway and Mayo. For the next six months, they will dedicate themselves full-time to the development of their early-start companies - receiving support in the form of training, mentoring, networking, R&D input, office space and more. A stipend of €15,000 is paid to each participant, subject to satisfactory performance and development reviews. These 12 participants follow in the footsteps of 83 other startup founders to complete the...
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New Frontiers programme Blancharsdtown graduation group 2018

New Frontiers Phase 2 graduation at the LINC – IT Blanchardstown

By New Frontiers blog
New Frontiers Programme Manager at IT Blanchardstown, Colm Ó Maolmhuire, says goodbye to the latest Phase 2 cohort. 10 entrepreneurs developed their early-stage business ideas during the six-month programme, with support and training from industry experts and the staff at the Learning and Innovation Centre (LINC). When we started on this challenging full-time programme in the cold days of November 2017, it was the energy and enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs that reminded me we were heading into the bright days of early summer 2018. Those days have now arrived and I am delighted that 10 strong, committed entrepreneurs are leaving us – in a good way! As any startup entrepreneur knows by now, it’s chiefly yourself who will be putting in...
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New Frontiers -a crowdfunding conversation with Crua Outdoors

A crowdfunding conversation with Crua Outdoors

By New Frontiers blog
Donncha Hughes, New Frontiers mentor and trainer, shares tips and insights about crowdfunding, including a video of a recent conversation with New Frontiers alumnus Derek O'Sullivan. I recently met up with Derek O’Sullivan of Crua Outdoors in the Tom Crean Centre, IT Tralee, for a chat about crowdfunding. This article will highlight some of the key takeaways from the conversation. We spoke about what they have learned during their Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns and how they raised significant equity funding using Seedrs Crua Outdoors: A Kerry and New Frontiers startup success story I first met Derek O’Sullivan several years ago when delivering training on the New Frontiers programme in IT Tralee, and I have kept an eye on their progress...
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New Frontiers National Networking Event - March 8th 2018 - Red Cow Hotel Dublin

The importance of networking for New Frontiers participants

By New Frontiers blog
Joe Healy, (Divisional Manager, High Potential Start-ups, EI) - Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation - Maria Gavin (Programme Manager New Frontiers, EI) Of all the feedback received from entrepreneurs over the years, one key benefit of the New Frontiers programme stands out consistently: how crucial networking and peer support has been for their entrepreneurial journey. New Frontiers participants get a wide range of supports on the programme. For some, learning sales and marketing skills, or successfully pivoting their idea, or preparing for export are the difference between success and failure. But another characteristic of the programme is that it’s cyclical, and all entrepreneurs (typically, around a dozen at each location) start at the same time...
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Competitive Start Fund Regional New Frontiers Enterprise Ireland

Take your startup to the next level with Competitive Start Funding

By New Frontiers blog
Are you a start-up based outside of County Dublin? The latest call for Competitive Start Funding (CSF) is currently open and offering ten startups up to €50,000 each in equity funding. In support of regional enterprise development and job creation, this call is specifically for all regional entrepreneurs with global ambition. Enterprise Ireland's CSF is for the startup that is ready move up a gear and bring value to Ireland on an international scale. Does your product or service have overseas market potential? CSF can accelerate the growth of your early stage company, so you can reach internal and external milestones with a sustainable business. Call closes: Tuesday, 13th March at 3pm It is time to think big! CSF welcomes...
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Gavin Duffy - RTE Dragon's Den promotional imagery by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com

Gavin Duffy on the changing face of business success

By New Frontiers blog
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find Dragons’ Den on RTÉ compulsive viewing. It’s amazing to see the varied and imaginative solutions people have come up with – often to problems you didn’t even know existed. Listening to the Dragon’s questions gives a lot of insight into the thought process and approach of experienced entrepreneurs. I always take notes that I apply to my own business, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So, it was with great excitement that I learnt an interview had been set up with Gavin Duffy – the only Dragon to guard the Den since the show started in 2009. Gavin was already a successful businessman by the age of 17, and has gone...
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Gavin Duffy, Eleanor McEvoy, Alison Cowzer, Chanelle McCoy and Barry O’Sullivan - RTE Dragon's Den promotional imagery by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com

New Frontiers alumni find success in the Dragons’ Den

By New Frontiers blog
Some fantastic New Frontiers startups have appeared on RTE One’s Dragons’ Den. The programme is addictive viewing for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, investment and business, with founders from every industry squaring up to face the Dragons' tough questions. We decided to catch up with two alumni who secured investment during the latest season of Dragons’ Den. What made them step into the Den? What’s it like to pitch to such a formidable panel? What, if anything, would they do differently? Art McArdle – Heat Hero Art and Adrienne McArdle founded Heat Hero in 2015. Their product is an innovative solution to improve the efficiency of solid fuel heating systems. The manifold can be retro-fitted onto any system, and because it...
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New Frontiers Innovation Vouchers Technology Gateways Enterprise Ireland

Extend your R&D capability with an Innovation Voucher

By New Frontiers blog
Are you an Irish SME looking for help with research and innovation? Have you a product or service that requires expertise currently outside of your existing R&D capacity? The Technology Gateway Network, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers, can help! Technology Gateways The Technology Gateway Network is composed of 15 specialist gateways, situated within 11 Institutes of Technology around Ireland. We focus on key technology areas which are aligned to industry needs in areas such as polymers, photonics, mobile, coatings, industrial design, mechatronics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, wireless technologies and precision engineering. Each centre works in conjunction with industry to aid the research and development of innovative products and services through a dedicated team of specialised engineers. Technology Gateway Clusters To boost the...
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High Potential Startups: a guide to supports and funding

By New Frontiers blog
Enterprise Ireland offers a range of blended supports to assist companies of various sizes through the different stages of their development. For early-stage startups, such supports would include the New Frontiers programme, Competitive Feasibility Grants and Innovations Vouchers – but it isn’t necessary to be an Enterprise Ireland ‘client’ to be eligible for such assistance. For startups that have moved past early-stage and become Enterprise Ireland client companies, special HPSU supports are available. HPSU (High Potential Startup) companies are young businesses with the potential to develop an innovative product or service that will be traded in international markets and have the potential to create >10 jobs and €1 million in sales within four years. Generally speaking, HPSUs are viewed as...
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Being an entrepreneur is increasingly where we want to be

By New Frontiers blog
A question we often ask ourselves is: Where do we want to be in five years time? What sort of life do we want to lead? As we only have one spin on this merry-go-round of life, it’s critical that we do what’s important to us individually. There really is no point looking back in five years time and regretting that we didn’t choose the path we wanted to pursue. Being an entrepreneur is increasingly a path Irish people want to take, and this is a significant shift. The rise of entrepreneurship in Ireland According to business information specialist, Vision-net, 14,757 new companies were formed in Ireland in 2011. By the end of last year this figure has jumped 32% to 19,472. Locally there was...
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Innovation Showcase: supports to grow your business

By New Frontiers blog
Those who attended last year's inaugural Innovation Showcase will be pleased to know that it's back again this year and looks set to be even better than last time! It's organised by Enterprise Ireland, in cooperation with IDA Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The Innovation Showcase is on 8th December at the Convention Centre Dublin. Registration required.  What is the Innovation Showcase? The Innovation Showcase is the place to find all the innovation supports available to businesses under one roof. The aim of the event is to achieve significant economic impacts through increased engagement between the public research system and industry. If you want to know how you can access the innovation supports to...
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New tricks: my journey from administrator to entrepreneur

By New Frontiers blog
It had always been at the back of my mind to start a business. A group of us had been a lifetime in education, working in international schools. We knew what we were doing. Teaching and learning was at the centre of what we did – and now we were going to practise what we preached at school and try something new as lifelong learners. For me personally - at the end of another six year contract and after more than 30 years in international education - it was a good time to stop and use my knowledge in a different way. An industry we knew The new business we set up was to serve an industry we knew well. It wasn’t quite clear at first...
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Pitching: avoiding the pitfalls and answering the right questions

By New Frontiers blog
I've been watching a lot of pitches recently - at Wayra, Ryan Academy, NDRC and the Web Summit, to name a few. I've also pitched plenty of times myself. I've pitched at UCD's Innovation Academy and the Digital Skills Academy, I've pitched to all kinds of decision makers in business as well as to public stakeholders (ministers, TDs, local politicians, residents, planners) when I was launching and promoting GAP. I've worn the various hats when it comes to the elevator pitch: journalist, entrepreneur, judge... Many were good, others less so. Some common mistakes, though they seem obvious, keep popping up. The basic rules are the same, no matter what you're pitching. So, here are some tips that will enhance your chances of success: What problem are you solving? Tell us early and...
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Innovation Vouchers: helping SMEs to develop creative solutions

By New Frontiers blog
Innovation Vouchers are an excellent way for companies to tap into leading research expertise in order to develop a solution or product at the pre-commercial stage. The scheme allows businesses to improve their innovation capability and builds links between Ireland’s public sector knowledge providers and the SME community. Innovation Vouchers were launched by Enterprise Ireland seven years ago and have proved phenomenally successful. Some 1,400 applications are received every year, around 70% of which are successful. Innovation Vouchers offer Irish SMEs the chance to connect with knowledge providers around the country in order to develop a solution or product. Vouchers are worth €5,000, valid for 12 months and can be redeemed at one of the 38 registered centres that provide...
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What I learned from the New Frontiers programme

By New Frontiers blog
I founded my visual effects startup, Glue, in 2013 and was looking for a dedicated startup programme that would complement my industry experience with the business knowledge and structure I required. In 2014, I participated in Phase 1 of New Frontiers, and subsequently went on to Phase 2 later in the year. I learned a huge amount on the programme and Glue is gaining momentum; we've been able to grow our team and develop custom systems to improve our processes. Looking back, I've identified seven areas that were key to my startup journey. Building on an idea New Frontiers was my first major step in starting up the business. Personally, I found it extremely helpful and challenging in so many...
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Getting your fundraising strategy right

By New Frontiers blog
Raising capital is never easy, but it's also essential for growing a successful startup. The hunt for investment is highly competitive and there is no guarantee of success, so knowing how and where to solicit funds is crucial. As always in business, preparation is the key! To start with, it's important to understand that in fundraising you are effectively “selling” yourself and your business opportunity. It takes a lot of work, and a little bit of luck, to find an investor who's the right fit for your company. In simple terms, you need a plan so that you can: assess the financing options available; decide on the correct course of action; agree a timeline; and ensure the internal resources, commitment...
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Making a successful Competitive Start Fund (CSF) application

By New Frontiers blog
Competitive Start Fund (CSF) is an Enterprise Ireland support aimed at accelerating the growth of High Potential Startups (HPSUs). It offers €50,000 (matched with €5,000 from the company or other private investor) for a 10% ordinary equity stake in the company. CSF investment enables successful applicants to reach key milestones in their business, eg: Researching the viability of export opportunities Securing a reference customer that will lend credibility to the product Building product prototypes Securing partnerships or key strategic alliances Identifying channels to international markets Securing third-party investment (VCs, angels, etc.) There are regular calls to the CSF throughout the year (there were six calls in 2014), which are open to all sectors or for specific business types such as...
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Networking and support are keys to startup success

By New Frontiers blog
I had only ever worked in the hedge fund industry before launching my technology startup. The programme management solution I built, Gecko, was designed to help me run my consultancy firm by enabling me to manage dozens of client projects from a single user dashboard. I hadn’t planned for it to be a business in its own right, so I was fairly clueless about what running a tech firm was all about! How the journey started It was a chance encounter with the head of the DKIT Regional Development Centre, at the Digital Dundalk startup forum last February, that gave me the confidence to apply for a place on Phase 1 of the New Frontiers programme. It’s hard to believe that was less than a...
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The importance of support in early-stage startup

By New Frontiers blog
Creating a successful business is a complex process, which involves lot of hard work and determination. Continuous support from all the stakeholders is required throughout the life-cycle of the business; however the initial phase is perhaps the most critical. Events in the initial stages usually shape and drive the short and medium-term strategy of a company. In the following paragraphs I will try to highlight the importance of early support in general and the help we received from Enterprise Ireland at the very early stages of our business; and how that helped us to define a roadmap and determine our future direction. Ask for help from the beginning When I initially thought about setting up Tuition Desk, I was looking...
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