Tag: New Frontiers

l-r Ann Marie Phelan - Tom Flanagan - Paula Carroll - New Frontiers at NovaUCD

New Frontiers Comes To NovaUCD At University College Dublin

l-r Ann Marie Phelan - Tom Flanagan - Paula Carroll - New Frontiers at NovaUCD

We are delighted to announce that NovaUCD will start to deliver the New Frontiers programme later this year, in partnership with IADT Media Cube. This five-year partnership will enable a total of 275 entrepreneurs, up to 55 annually, to develop their innovative business ideas with a view to building globally scalable businesses.

Part of University College Dublin’s Research and Innovation unit, NovaUCD is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facility for knowledge-intensive companies. The partnership with IADT, backed by €1.6 million in funding from Enterprise Ireland, means that there are now 17 locations across the country delivering this successful entrepreneur development programme. NovaUCD will help to meet the growing demand from emerging entrepreneurs based in the greater south Dublin area, incorporating South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and North Wicklow.

Although new to the New Frontiers programme, NovaUCD already has a strong track record in delivering enterprise programmes to startup companies across the full spectrum of technologies. UCD’s entrepreneurship strategy has resulted in:

  • The development of the Nova East Courtyard (€6.5m), the establishment of the University Bridge fund (€60m), and the launch of the NovaUCD AgTech Centre Innovation Hub (at UCD Lyons Farm).
  • 61 companies currently being supported, with 605 employees.
  • 400 companies and early-stage ventures supported over the last 16 years (raising over €775m in equity funding).
  • A combined annual turnover for its companies of over €113m in 2018.
  • Thousands of jobs created over the years, 1,040 people employed directly in 2018; 950 of whom are based in Ireland.
  • The value realised in ownership exits has risen to over €210 million.

Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme helps entrepreneurs with access to a comprehensive package of supports including mentorship from some of Ireland’s leading business people, a tax-free stipend, and access to resources and incubation space. Some of our alumni are now households names.

Announcing the new partnership were Anne Marie Phelan (IADT Media Cube), Tom Flanagan (NovaUCD), and our own Paula Carroll (New Frontiers National Programme Manager at Enterprise Ireland). They are pictured above (from left to right).

“We are delighted to be working with the team at NovaUCD in delivering the New Frontiers programme for Enterprise Ireland. IADT has been delivering the programme since 2013 and has been responsible for the emergence of numerous successful companies including Cambrist, Snapfix, Ambr Eyewear, Dr. Coys and CheckVentory, all of whom are located in South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and North Wicklow.

This new partnership will allow us to consolidate a myriad of enterprise supports and will go a long way to supporting start-up companies in the local region while providing them with expert insight and access to innovative practice-led research in design, technology, and entrepreneurship that has been integral to the Media Cube’s success. The next five years promises to be a very exciting time for entrepreneurs coming to IADT Media Cube and NovaUCD.” – Ann Marie Phelan, Enterprise and Innovation Manager at IADT Media Cube

“We are delighted to be partnering with IADT Media Cube in delivering a New Frontiers programme for entrepreneurs located in South Dublin. At NovaUCD we have gained considerable experience and expertise by supporting over 400 start-ups and early-stage ventures and in delivering a wide range of entrepreneurship programmes to support our entrepreneurs to grow and scale to reach their global potential. NovaUCD and IADT Media Cube complement each other with our different areas of expertise and I am confident that this will lay the foundations for a very successful series of New Frontiers programmes in the years ahead.” – Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation at NovaUCD

“Enterprise Ireland is delighted to approve funding for the New Frontiers programme that will be delivered by IADT Media Cube in partnership with NovaUCD.  The addition of this programme with two experienced delivery partners will strengthen the reach and impact of the programme within the greater South Dublin area. Enterprise Ireland is proud to fund such a critically important programme like New Frontiers which is delivered across 15 locations nationwide.” – Paula Carroll, National Programme Manager, New Frontiers, Enterprise Ireland

The first IADT Media Cube and NovaUCD New Frontiers programme starts in October. If you think New Frontiers might be for you, the first step is to register your interest via our quick online form. Remember that applications close several weeks before the programmes start, so we advise you to begin the application process sooner rather than later!

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Project One Sky: Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

‘Spilling The Beans’ event provides great insights for food sector startups

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Bad Elevator Pitches

5 Powerful Habits Of Successful Business Leaders

Spilling The Beans event provides great insights for food sector startups New Frontiers

‘Spilling The Beans’ event provides great insights for food sector startups

Spilling The Beans event provides great insights for food sector startups New Frontiers

Dominic Mullan, former New Frontiers Programme Manager at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Dún Laoghaire, recently organised an event called Spilling the Beans, delivered by TU Dublin and IADT for food sector programme participants and alumni from across the country. In this article, he shares some of the insights from the event.

‘Sure, launching a start-up is so much easier these days, with all sorts of tech tools and open-source options drastically reducing upfront costs and time to market,’ or so they say! While that may be true of purely digital plays, the same can’t really be said for food ventures. A chat with any food founder will undoubtedly involve tales of the strife associated with raising investment, establishing an efficient production model and building strong channels for distribution. It was this trio of challenges that the Spilling the Beans event aimed to address for current and past New Frontiers participants with a focus on food.

Programme alumni Shane Ryan of fiid (LIT) and Alison Stroh of Dr Coy’s (IADT/TU Dublin) joined us to share the learning points they have amassed along the road to scale. Providing further valuable insights were Stephen Twaddell, Chair of the Food Investment Syndicate within HBAN; Louis Eivers from the HPSU team at Enterprise Ireland; and Jacquie Marsh, the driving force behind the growth of the Butler’s Pantry up to its sale in 2018.

Stephen Twaddell, Chair of the Food Investment Syndicate within HBAN
Jacquie Marsh, former Director of Butler’s Pantry
Jacquie Marsh, former Director of Butler’s Pantry
Louis Eivers, HPSU team at Enterprise Ireland

Investment: When, and how, to raise money?

On quite when is the right time to raise money, both Alison Stroh and Shane Ryan would recommend holding off as long as you can before completing a seed round. Instead, make the most of supports like Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funding, Foodworks Ireland and Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) to build a more investable proposition. For Shane, this allows you to demonstrate to potential investors just what you have been able to achieve with a small team and limited resources. Clearly, as Louis Eivers of Enterprise Ireland pointed out, be careful not to stretch things too far before taking investment and possibly missing out on the commercial opportunity or running out of cash entirely.

Assessing your investment proposition

Jacquie Marsh shared her checklist for assessing a food sector investment proposition:

Product: Does it address a problem or a need experienced by a lot of people on a frequent and repeat basis? What is its unique point of difference? Crucially, is the consumer prepared to pay a proper price that will avoid the need for discounts and offers that erode margin?

Strategy: Is there clarity in terms of the short-term and long-term strategy? Is the focus on growing a family-owned business, for example, or on the type of dynamic growth that could lead to a trade sale?

Founder: Is the founder ambitious and passionate, as well as bringing expertise in the product area or in sales and marketing? Do other team members and key hires offer strong complementary skills? Are the founders well equipped to network proactively and positively with possible advisors and investors?

Synergy: Is there a strong sense of culture and values within the team? Are these aligned with the founder’s own values and outlook?

Customers & Sales: Is there evidence of significant sales and an ability to generate sales? Have the founders been able to build good relationships with their early customers?

Finance: What have the team achieved so far with their limited start-up resources? How far will the immediate investment requirement carry the venture before focus needs to return to the hugely time-consuming process of raising more money?

Adding to this, Stephen Twaddell encouraged founders to remember that they themselves are the core element of any investor proposition. He said, “You can change and influence most things in a project, but it’s hard to change people.” So don’t be shy about telling of your passion and your story so far.

Stephen also flagged a positive development in the food ecosystem recently which saw Hilliard Lombard (ex-CEO of Valeo Foods) and David McKernan (ex-Java Republic) launch Biavest – Ireland’s only dedicated food investment vehicle – with their first investments being with Nobó and Offbeat Doughnuts. For Shane Ryan, this type of smart sector-informed money trumps non-specialist investors every time.

The production dilemma

Alison Stroh

While the question of in-house or outsourced production seems to offer only two possible answers, the third and resounding response from our panellists was that, while your production model is important, it pales into insignificance against the potential power of your brand. This, for investor Stephen Twaddell, is where the magic lies and where the most value can be created. Generally, your customers will not know and will probably not overly care if you produce in-house or through production partners. It is your brand and the quality of your product that will influence their buying behaviour.

The possible exception to that is where your brand story specifically ties in with a method or place of production. Take by way of example the Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company, of which Stephen is Chair and whose brand story includes messaging such as Independent by Nature and beer brewed the Wicklow Way.

In the case of fiid and Dr Coy’s, both notably offering ambient products, specific technical requirements meant outsourcing production to partners in the Netherlands and Belgium respectively was the only realistic option, and the model has worked well for both. Louis Eivers of Enterprise Ireland clarified that outsourcing production within the EU presents no obstacles to High Potential Startup (HPSU) investment, provided the venture is still likely to create 10 jobs in Ireland. Bord Bia support on the other hand is typically predicated on production being within the Republic of Ireland.

For Jacquie Marsh, who built a business focused on short-shelf-life products, The Butler’s Pantry’s in-house production model was underpinned by two key strategic considerations: firstly, achieving a margin that would not have been possible otherwise; and, secondly, being nimble and adaptable in terms of offering quality and variety to the customer.

As for any entrepreneur, the risk of seeing outsourced partners effectively stealing your product ideas was on the mind of a number of our New Frontiers participants. Shane Ryan was quick to point out that, yes, they probably will copy your ideas, as will other companies and quite possibly your retailers too, which brings us back (once again!) to the key role of brand, brand, brand! As Jacquie Marsh pointed out, the big players are afraid of emerging, nimble players with brands that are so much more engaging and relatable for the consumer.

The distribution challenge

Shane Ryan

The “biggest challenge for food start-ups in Ireland” and “a total nightmare” was how Alison Stroh and Shane Ryan characterised the whole area of distribution, and both had lots of helpful perspectives for food founders who are looking to establish strong distribution channels.

Both companies deliberately managed their own distribution for extended periods before securing central listings or significant distribution agreements. The donkeywork of supporting dozens of stores across Ireland yielded huge value in terms of learning about the marketplace and building relationships with store managers.

On the question of central listings with retail chains, Alison sounded a note of caution: yes, central listings mean that store personnel can order in your products from their hand-held devices, but “if only they did!” It is more than likely that you will still need to engage a merchandising team to visit stores and encourage managers to place orders.

For Shane of fiid, relationships built with store managers in the early days have proven to be the foundation of major in-store campaigns which might not have been feasible or affordable otherwise.

Both fiid and Dr Coy’s now work with major distributors, which allows them to focus less on logistics and more on brand, which is all the more important when you are likely to be competing with the likes of Unilever for your distributor’s attention.

For Jacquie Marsh, it’s crucial to focus on retailers that really fit your brand and customer profile, while Stephen Twaddell would encourage any food start-up to focus initially on developing quality growth with one retailer before spreading yourself thinly across multiple retailers or geographies.

Key conclusions for food startups

So a conversation that was intended to focus on three aspects – investment, production and distribution – kept coming back to the same theme time and time again: brand, brand, brand!

About the author


New Frontiers Dominic MullanDominic Mullan

Dominic was the Innovation, Commercialisation & Development Manager at IADT – Institute of Art, Design & Technology in Dún Laoghaire – and the New Frontiers Programme Manager at the Media Cube. Dominic has worked closely with startups since 2000, and his expertise spans both the public and private sectors… [Read Dominic’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Project One Sky: Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Bad Elevator Pitches

5 Powerful Habits Of Successful Business Leaders

Small business secrets for improving your SEO ranking in 2020

New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges

New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges

New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, companies and individuals have acted fast to come up with innovative solutions to the many new challenges facing all areas of society. As one of the leading medtech hubs in the world, Ireland is certainly leading the charge. We look at various New Frontiers companies that have been playing their part.

Darren Robb & Facteq

Facteq, which brings innovation to workspaces, has been manufacturing sneeze guards and Perspex barriers for shop staff and health care workers. Their shop counter shields can come in any size and are made with “clean room” specification materials so are non-porous and wipeable. Facteq founder, Darren Robb, was a New Frontiers participant at Sligo and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology.

https://www.linkedin.com/company/facteq-ltd

Sonia Neary & Wellola

Start-up Wellola developed a practice management and patient portal designed to bring medical facility communications into the 21st century. The company was co-founded by Sonia Neary, a New Frontiers alumna who participated in the programme at TU Dublin – Tallaght. Now Wellola has partnered with the HSE’s Digital Transformation Team to launch a COVID-19-focused portal combining secure communication software for healthcare professionals with a complimentary patient app called HSE Portal.

https://irishtechnews.ie/hse-wellola-secure-patient-communication-portal

https://www.hsecovid19.ie

Keith Lynne & MyClinic365

Keith Lyne is the co-founder of MyClinic365 and came through the New Frontiers programme at IT Tralee. In response to the current emergency, MyClinic365 is making its telemedicine platform free for GPs in Ireland for the duration of the crisis, reducing the administrative burdens inside GP surgeries and improving patient relationships.

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/myclinic365-free-gps-telemedicine-coronavirus

Tony Ryan & Medvault

Medvault, founded by Tony Ryan who is a new Frontiers alumnus from TU Dublin – City Campus/IADT, provides an analytics solution for GP surgeries. The company partnered with GP Buddy to create a free COVID-19 GP Screening Form which will help to facilitate patient screening for COVID-19. Over 350 GP practices are already signed up, seeing an estimated 50% drop in the pressure from phone queries as they channel patients through the platform.

https://www.screeningform.com

Hanan Swan & Slunchbox

Hanan Swan, an alumna from Dundalk Institute of Technology/DCU New Frontiers programme, recently launched Slunchbox, a hot school meal delivery platform. In response to COVID-19, Hanan has pivoted her idea to deliver hot meals to the vulnerable in our communities. She accepts donations (€4 buys a meal for a vulnerable person) and has so far raised over €5,000 via the company’s crowdfunding campaign.

https://www.slunchbox.com

https://www.gofundme.com/f/slunchbox

Gurusharan Singh Gogna & HealAir

Coming through the New Frontiers programme at Athlone Institute of Technology, Gurusharan Singh Gogna’s startup, HealAir, uses safe plasma technology to kill airborne viruses and bacteria. They are currently seeking funding for microbiology tests and manufacturing. The patent-pending, simple and stationary unit is destined for high-risk areas such as surgery waiting rooms, ICUs, aircraft, or any enclosed space requiring air sanitisation.

Martin Tighe & Univiv

Univiv, founded by Martin Tighe who took part in New Frontiers at Athlone Institute of Technology, is developing solutions in areas such as agriculture and aquaculture. Their product, Virex (patent pending), is a safe and effective human anti-viral formulation, already proven to kill the H1N1 human form of swine flu in pigs. They are accelerating production to treat COVID-19 infections. Taken orally and made with “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) certified ingredients, it will be a preventative dose to quell infections before they start as well as treat infections. Univiv is currently awaiting funding to manufacture the first 100,000 doses and hopes to deliver in one month.

https://univiv.com

Jag Gunawardana & MediPlex

Before the emergency, the startup was working on MediPlex, a product to enable full e-prescribing, compliance, and related functionality – about to trial with local pharmacies. When Jag, who participated in New Frontiers at Sligo and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology, saw how pharmacies were responding to the COVID-19 crisis, he realised that part of the solution he was building could be applied to these services. He produced a slimmed-down version of the product that focuses on capturing prescriptions, sending it to the selected pharmacy, enabling pharmacy-patient communication, and taking payments. It decreases risk by minimising patient-pharmacist contact and improves customer service.

Tom Cotter & Rash’R

Cork New Frontiers alumnus, Tom Cotter, started a high-end eco sports apparel company called Rash’R. In response to demand, they have started to make washable, reusable face masks with disposable replacement filters. Currently, these are being sold to bulk buyers such as corporates rather than retail.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6650435016650297344

Do you have an idea in response to the pandemic?

Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and IDA Ireland have launched a joint rapid-response call to fund research, development, and innovation (RD&I) activities that will deliver significant and timely impact for Ireland within the context of the current emergency. This call will be closely co-ordinated with the rapid response call launched by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council.

Some of the innovations from Enterprise Ireland companies

The level of innovation and blue sky thinking triggered by this international emergency has been quite extraordinary. Many new products and ideas will continue to be used and valued well into the future. Synergies and collaborations have sprung up in the most unlikely of places. It’s a real sign of hope in these troubled times.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Project One Sky: Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Bad Elevator Pitches

5 Powerful Habits Of Successful Business Leaders

Small business secrets for improving your SEO ranking in 2020

Listen to your market and always be ready to pivot your idea - New Frontiers - Pierce Dargan

Listen to your market and always be ready to pivot your idea

Listen to your market and always be ready to pivot your idea - New Frontiers - Pierce Dargan

In this blog, New Frontiers alumnus Pierce Dargan discusses his decision to pivot his business idea and what has gone into building a strong and successful startup. Pierce was careful to get extensive feedback from prospective customers and research his idea thoroughly before making his decision.

When I started working on my own business, over four years ago, it was on a very different idea. Part of the entrepreneurship module for my masters at Trinity College was working on a startup idea. Mine was a marketplace for farmers to look for products and services in their area – such as feed, fencing and manure disposal services – so they could compare prices and make informed choices about suppliers. My background is equine farming, and I felt that a price comparison site, which is very common in a lot of markets, was lacking in farming. I won a number of awards for this idea, including the Trinity College All-Tech Innovation competition.

The importance of validating your market

During the validation phase of my startup, when I started to talk to the farmers I was hoping would become my customers, many told me that price was not their biggest pain point. People generally felt that price was not the big issue for them and in fact they stayed with suppliers because of factors like quality assurance, quick delivery times or credit terms. I spoke to people across Kildare, Cork and elsewhere for this validation phase, and I was very fortunate to meet people who were honest with me about the idea before I spent both time and capital developing a solution. It is important to listen to your potential customers rather than just people in your immediate circle, such as advisors, friends and family. The customer is always the most important person.

When the people I was talking to told me price comparison wasn’t their biggest issue, I always asked what their biggest problem was. Time after time, people in equine yards told me that they were having issues keeping up with the large amounts of paperwork required because of frequently changing equine welfare regulations. Racing trainers and equestrians have to keep medication records for their horses to satisfy regulators and drug testers. Some yards have hundreds of horses, each with their own drug and vaccination regimen. It gets very complicated very quickly and if records are wrong it can lead to heavy fines and, in the most serious cases, prosecution. The yards I was talking to said that if I could develop a solution for this issue, they would be very interested.

Always listen to your target customers

It was at this point I realised that there was a large opportunity to try and build a regulatory technology system to be an education tool that would help ensure compliance for equine yards and help promote equine welfare and transparency. It was a difficult decision to pivot the idea. I had won awards for my original farm marketplace idea and it was hard to let go. However, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, always listen to your customers. It is a common trap that entrepreneurs fall in love with their ideas and don’t listen to what their customers actually want.

Once I pivoted my idea, I knew I would need a CTO who had experience in digitising regulatory paper processes. It just so happened that I ran into a friend from secondary school, Simon Hillary, who had just finished optimising workflows from paper to digital systems for the Oireachtas. Simon came on board, and we started the process of getting our system deemed compliant as a medicines register by the Turf Club (the horseracing regulatory body) here in Ireland and their equivalents in the UK and France.

Early-stage development with support and funding

I completed Phase 1 of New Frontiers at IADT mid-2017. From there, we were accepted onto the Trinity LaunchBox, and I completed Phase 2 of New Frontiers as well. Our Local Enterprise Office has been very supportive, and we’ve had a priming grant and business expansion grant from them. This has all been very helpful, because in all pivoting the idea took two years – refining our solution and getting into the finer details of the regulation.

By 2018, we were ready to launch with an initial cohort of users. That’s when my brother, Finlay, who has a background in finance, joined as our COO. Our app manages the whole compliance process for yards, centrally tracking the what, when, why, and how of medications being administered. Trainers or owners can invite vets and staff onto the system so that everything is tracked and recorded safely and securely.

Our pivoted startup: Equine MediRecord

We already have hundreds of yards on our system across Ireland, the United Kingdom and France, tracking thousands of horses. Our system is the first and only system to be approved as compliant to replace the paper regulatory documents, and the only system in the world ensuring compliance in the equine industry. We won a number of competitions, including the One Zero Conference, ‘Best Use of Mobile’ at Energia Digital Media Awards, and Most Innovative Equine Technology in the UK. We were also accredited with the Business All Star in ‘Regulatory Technology’ at the All-Ireland Business Summit. I also made it into the final 24 (out of 1,600+ applicants) of Ireland’s Best Yound Entrepreneurs, representing the Irish Midlands Region and Kildare at the national competition in September.

As we all become more aware of animal welfare issues, regulations are being strengthened and people need systems to ensure medical record compliance for their animals. Equine MediRecord is looking to enter new markets by the end of the year; we’ve just signed clients in the USA and Argentina and are talking to regulatory bodies inside and outside Europe. We’re also diversifying into other types of equine activity, such as horse breeders and polo teams. None of this would have happened if I had fallen in love with my original idea and been unable to pivot.

About the author

Pierce Dargan Equine MediRecord New Frontiers alumnusPierce Dargan

Pierce Dargan is a fifth-generation racehorse owner and breeder, ex-professional rugby player and New Frontiers alumnus. He is the co-founder of award-winning tech startup, Equine MediRecord… [Read Pierce’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

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Financial advice every entrepreneur needs to hear - New Frontiers - Ireland (1)

Financial advice every startup entrepreneur needs to hear

Financial advice every entrepreneur needs to hear - New Frontiers - Ireland (1)

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 and be ready to scale up. If that sounds good to you, then check out our 4 financial tips below that will whip your finances into shape.

4 financial tips for startups

1. Tighten up your cash flow

For most startups, the issue with cash flow is lagging debtors. Debtor days is how long it takes a client to pay you for your services and chances are some of your debtors are more casual about it than you’d prefer. At the beginning, when you’re trying to get your business off the ground, slow debtors can cause a lot of stress and frustration. The best thing you can do is nip this in the bud from the being.

Firstly, decide if you can afford to provide a credit period. If you can’t, then you need to plainly outline this in your service contract. Some companies ask for part of the payment up front. However, if you are going after bigger, more established clients, chances are they will expect a credit period that can range from 30 to 60 days. Manage this by setting a clear credit period that suits you and prompt clients to pay with a friendly reminder approaching the end of their payment window. If this goes unrecognised, have a second reminder quickly sent from a more senior team member. If you still have no success, then send a legal follow-up and stop doing business for this client until payment comes through.

If you are trying to build up a book of clients in the early stages of your business, this approach may sound aggressive, but in the long run it’s better to have an established process in place to manage debtors because it directly affects your cash flow which is the lifeline of your business.

2. Get financial and tax advice

If you’re not an accountant and you don’t employ the services of an accountant, then chances are you are missing out on many opportunities to make tax savings for your business. From Entrepreneur Relief to Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) to R&D tax credits, there is a lot of support available in Ireland for startups. A financial advisor that specialises in small businesses can provide you with invaluable tax advice that is vital for giving startups the breathing space they need to grow.

There are also numerous state and private funding sources for startups, from microfinance loans to incubator funding to angel investment. A good place to start is your local LEO, and the Enterprise Ireland website also has extensive information on their funding supports (so both tax saving and funding sources). Of course, we can’t but mention our own programme, New Frontiers! We are Ireland’s only national entrepreneur development programme, and as well as providing office space, mentoring, and training, the New Frontiers programme offers Phase 2 participants a €15,000 tax-free stipend.

3. Have access to a bank overdraft

Getting a loan and being financially healthy may sound contradictory, but bear with us! We’re returning to the issue of cash flow. Let’s say for some reason or another your business stops making a profit for a few months. Perhaps your premise was flooded, or you lost a few big clients in a row. Do you have a strategy in place to weather the storm?

Bank overdrafts are not always easily accessed when you suddenly need one. After all, what bank wants to loan money a business when it’s failing? It is much better to set up this facility in advance, when your balance sheet is looking healthy. That way everything is ready to go when disaster strikes, and guess what? With this lifesaver overdraft facility at the ready, it’s not such a disaster after all. It’s just another bump in the road on your way to success.

4. Consider outsourcing

When you’re expanding your business, you might imagine everything you do will be inhouse because you want to retain as much control as possible. However, outsourcing can be a lot more cost-effective if your ambition is to scale up. Doing everything yourself makes sense when you’re a startup, but if you plan on growing your business then this can prove too costly. Hiring an in-house team of marketers or accountants or IT professionals is expensive, and that’s before you take into account the office space and equipment that comes with them. Outsourced services don’t only make financial sense, but you also gain access to the valuable insights of experts in their field. Now you can focus on what you do best and save money at the same time.

If you have a startup idea and would like to take it to the next level, read more about the New Frontiers programme and see our calendar of upcoming application deadlines around the country.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Project One Sky: Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Bad Elevator Pitches

5 Powerful Habits Of Successful Business Leaders

Small business secrets for improving your SEO ranking in 2020

Drone Consultants Ireland (DCI), were announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar as winners of the Ireland Regional Competition of the 2018 ESNC (European Satellite Navigation Competition) awards.

Drone Consultants Ireland (DCI) wins regional competition of ESNC 2018

Drone Consultants Ireland (DCI), were announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar as winners of the Ireland Regional Competition of the 2018 ESNC (European Satellite Navigation Competition) awards.

Drone Consultants Ireland (DCI) was announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, as the winner of the Ireland Regional Competition of the 2018 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) awards.

DCI won the regional competition with its Jack-In-The-Box concept and will represent Ireland as they proceed to the European Finals which take place in Marseille at the ‘Space Oscars’ during European Space Week on the 4th December 2018.

Jack-In-The-Box is a self-sustaining, aircraft-deployable drone system that can be parachuted to remote and inaccessible locations, enabling it to gather critical data where natural disasters occur. This technology has the potential to assist rescue services in saving lives and calculating the safe and efficient deployment of resources.

DCI is based at the Media Cube in Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT). The company was founded in 2016 by Ian Kiely and Peter Downey to provide consultancy and support to a variety of emergency response services, government entities and private clients as well as organising and hosting the Drone & Tech Expo Ireland. Ian Kiely is a recent alumnus of Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme at IADT.

Receiving the award, DCI’s COO Ian Kiely said,

“We are really excited to receive this award and are also looking forward to attending Space Week in Marseille in December to compete for the top awards. We believe this product has significant potential and we are working to bring it to market. DCI is a growing company and we are looking at partnerships and preparing for funding in the immediate future to launch a successful commercial product. We are grateful to the New Frontiers programme and for the ongoing support from Enterprise Ireland and The Media Cube at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dún Laoghaire where we are currently based.”

Bruce Hannah, CTO of the National Space Centre and head of the Irish judging panel said,

“The Jack-In-The-Box entry from DCI demonstrates the potential which satellite navigation data holds to deliver life-saving new technologies to the world stage. The DCI entry leverages existing technology alongside innovation with exponential potential. We wish Ian and his team every success in Marseille.”

Annie Doona, President of IADT, praised DCI for their commitment to research and development,

“Innovative companies like DCI make more than a commercial impact – their technology has the potential to save lives in the aftermath of a vast array of natural disasters. Through their risk-taking and tenacity, we all stand to benefit and we wish them every success in the finals of the ESNC competition.”

For further information, contact Ann Marie Phelan, Enterprise & Innovation manager at the Media Cube, IADT: annmarie.phelan @ iadt.ie / 086 701 5922.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

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Phase 2 New Frontiers launch at Galway-Mayo July 2018

12 high-potential entrepreneurs commence New Frontiers at GMIT

Phase 2 New Frontiers launch at Galway-Mayo July 2018

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 programme at GMIT, which has supported nearly 1,500 entrepreneurs nationally.

The 2018 cohort reflects a wide variety of sectors:

  • Alan Preims, who is working on a soundtrack library for game developers;
  • Gerard Keane, who plans to develop risk management software for businesses;
  • Jipe Kelly, who is developing a platform to attract foreign students to third level colleges and universities;
  • Maneesh Kaushik, who is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology for preventive and diagnostic heart care;
  • Patricia MacEoin, who has a concept for an intravenous fluid delivery system for the equine industry;
  • Roisin Kelly, who is looking into internet safety education for children;
  • Kieran Barry, who is developing friction technology to reduce the drag on ships;
  • David McIntyre, who is creating a sensory booth for people with special needs;
  • Ferdia Kenny, who is building a recruitment platform for part-time staff;
  • Francis Bonner, whose innovative idea for functional food will blend coffee with plant oil;
  • Liam Moffatt, who is working on an athlete performance system;
  • Mark Basquille, who is developing a food supplement for athletes.

Tony O’Kelly, New Frontiers Programme Manager at GMIT, is looking forward to his seventh year supporting innovative startups on New Frontiers.

“114 new business ideas were submitted for consideration this year. It is a great indication of the strength of entrepreneurship in our region! The economic landscape in Galway continues to develop. Not only is GMIT extending the IHub to double its current capacity, other local initiatives – the Portershed, which opened two years ago; two new Bank of Ireland centres; the Start-lab, Work Bench, Agtech and NDRC accelerators; plus the BioExcell Medtech Accelerator and BioInnovate Ireland programme at NUIG – bring a wide range of supports to businesses and startups.”

Barry Egan, Enterprise Ireland Director West, commented:

“The entrepreneurs selected for this accelerated business start-up process are top quality, with great potential. We look forward to the development of the next wave of successful businesses in the West.”

Since the programme started in 2012, 23 GMIT New Frontiers start-ups have raised over €1 million through Competitive Start Funding (CSF) and over €10 million in private plus High Potential Start-up (HPSU) investment. Find out more and see our calendar for upcoming deadlines around the country.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

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New Frontiers programme Blancharsdtown graduation group 2018

New Frontiers Phase 2 graduation at the LINC – IT Blanchardstown

New Frontiers programme Blancharsdtown graduation group 2018

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 the hours – the vast bulk of the work done in an early-stage startup is by the founder and any co-founders. The real benefit of participating in a support programme such as New Frontiers is exactly that – the support.

We provide structure, time and space to develop from a well-presented business case to a ‘rocking & rolling’ enterprise. Well, that’s the plan anyway! The formal outcomes of the programme are an investor-level business plan and pitch. But, in order to get there, many other actions have to be started and completed.

Three main thoughts occur to me about entrepreneurs, startups and programmes, and how we can help support their progress:

  1. Time is short
    I joked with this group in our first workshop that six months of Phase 2 would go faster than the six weeks of Phase 1. They didn’t believe me, until it did go faster! Phase 2 requires such a step up in all aspects of starting up that the best advice is to have an action plan and milestones; then work to them. That’s the benefit of the reviews within the programme – keeping on track and adapting at the same time, in a very tight timeframe.
  2. Progress is the main thing
    Each entrepreneur and enterprise makes progress at a different pace. It depends on so many different things – product or tech development, market engagement, financial planning, costs and funding. Even though everyone starts on the same date, we don’t all finish in the same place. Progress is relative, but so are setbacks. It’s what you do next that’s now important.
  3. Thank you for your trust
    Given the energy and enthusiasm, risk and workload, and the serious challenges involved, I have the utmost respect for the real entrepreneurs who have trusted us to support them on this early part of their journey. If you do well, we do well. Thanks, and good luck!
Graduation group 10 New Frontiers programme Blancharsdtown

Blanchardstown Phase 2 graduates with Programme Manager, Colm Ó Maolmhuire (right)

The LINC – New Frontiers class of 2018

Ciaran BRENNAN graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownCiaran BRENNAN

Ground Up’s first product to market, PaidAde, addresses a huge pain point for tradesmen. Tradesmen hate paperwork. After many years working in the construction industry, Ciaran knows and understands this pain point. Through experience and market feedback they have developed PaidAde, a tool that gives tradesmen back their evenings and weekends by digitally removing the paperwork tasks from their business.

Catherine COFFEY graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownCatherine COFFEY

Lexi is an online platform that teaches non-native English speakers job-specific vocabulary. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Lexi aims to change how people learn languages. They provide personalised, bite-sized language courses that are tailored to suit users’ preferred career path – that way they are learning the English they need to succeed in a working environment. Courses are constantly changing so that the content being learned is up to date and relevant.

Bernard HAYES graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownBernard HAYES

Fanled.ie is an Irish company that plans to save the music industry. They are bringing back real ownership for music fans and giving musicians the power to create their own future. This new crowdfunding platform allows fans to own a piece of publishing of a song they like, while at the same time giving direct revenue to the artist. Their goal is to be an agitator in the 21st-century music industry model and give both music lovers and music creators the power reap what they sow.

Chantel KANGOWA graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownChantel KANGOWA

Lucca Diagnostics will produce a non-invasive medical/life science diagnostic device to detect and diagnose Urinary Tract Infections. The device will make the collection, sampling, detection and diagnosis of live samples of urine and faeces a more efficient and infection-controlled process. The device is primarily aimed for use on unwell: paediatrics (0-16 years), pregnant women, the elderly, people suffering from urinary incontinence, and people who are incapacitated due to illness.

Noel McKEOWN graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownNoel McKEOWN

Teeze is a dating app with a difference. It focuses not only on people matching but meeting face to face. Teeze makes it easy to break the ice, chat and more importantly organise dates. 90% of matches in mobile dating do not meet up. Teeze uses technology and innovative features to make dates happen.

Cormac O'BEIRNE graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownCormac O’BEIRNE

RYPT is an online platform for gyms and personal trainers to market themselves, attract new clients and add value to existing clients. It provides them with the tools they need to train their clients online, and motivate them to reach their health and fitness goals. Using RYPT’s platform, individuals can find the right personal trainer for their individual needs and get all the expert advice they need to reach their fitness goals, from workout programmes to nutrition plans to wellness monitoring, right at their fingertips.

Simon RUDDY graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownSimon RUDDY

Dilution Solutions has developed a dilution device that makes it more cost-effective, safe and environmentally prudent to work with concentrate chemicals used at home and at work, for example, horticulture, cleaning and industrial chemicals. The device will be designed into a range of products for use in domestic and commercial settings.

Derya SOUSA graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownDerya SOUSA

Kianda is a cloud-based business process automation platform that provides a very simple way for non-technical users to build complex process workflows made of professional-looking online forms, without the need for coding knowledge. It enables companies to streamline not only internal but also external business processes, opening up an entirely new perspective to inter-company collaboration.

Morgan THUNDER graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownMorgan THUNDER

Bubblbook is a new way for activity providers to get in front of group organizers and take provisional bookings online. It’s also a new and easy way to organize group outings with automatic bookings triggered by interest. Bubblbook cuts all the hassle out of agreeing on the ‘who, what and when’ to focus on what matters – people getting together.

Raef TYRRELL graduation New Frontiers programme BlancharsdtownRaef TYRRELL

Ekho works to provide improved experiences and analytics for tourist attractions. Their aim is to make every visit count. Ekho uses BLE beacons and an application on a user’s mobile device to provide a proximity-enabled guided experience in a tourist attraction. Their client-base is tourist attractions, who are offered a content management system and analytics dashboard accessed via the Ekho website to manage and observe the status of their guided experience.

About the author

Colm ÓMaolmhuireColm Ó Maolmhuire

Colm is the New Frontiers Programme Manager at IT Blanchardstown. He has 20 years’ experience operating as an independent, professional management trainer, mentor and consultant. His main areas of expertise are in finance, business planning/analysis and management skills… [Read Colm’s profile]

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New Frontiers startup, Immersive VR Education, lists on Irish Stock Exchange

New Frontiers startup, Immersive VR Education, lists on Irish Stock Exchange

New Frontiers startup, Immersive VR Education, lists on Irish Stock Exchange

Former New Frontiers participant company, Immersive VR Education, was recently listed on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Enterprise Securities Market. The Waterford-based technology firm raised €6.7 million before expenses through listings on Dublin’s Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) and the AIM in London. The placing of 60,000,000 shares of 10p each implied a valuation of £19.3 million (around €21.6 million) on admission and the deal was oversubscribed.

Immersive VR Education is a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) software company dedicated to transforming how educational content is delivered and consumed globally. Their virtual reality teaching platform for schools, universities and businesses allows people to create a virtual classroom to bring together teachers and learners from anywhere in the world.

The company was founded in October 2014 by husband and wife team, David and Sandra Whelan. David participated in the New Frontiers programme at Arc Labs (Waterford Institute of Technology’s Research and Incubation Centre) in 2016 and recommends the programme to ambitious entrepreneurs involved in a start-up business. A WIT graduate, he believes the AR/VR market is growing and as hardware becomes more affordable, growth will gain further traction.

“We are at the forefront of this as a VR software and technology group operating in the niche education sector, we provide students, educators with a customisable learning environment.
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 to 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.”

The first New Frontiers participant company to list on the Irish Stock Exchange

Eugene Crehan, the New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford Institute of Technology, said:

“Immersive VR Holdings is a great example of how an innovative technology start-up can benefit from the business development skills workshops and mentor supports available as part of the New Frontiers programme. By being technically innovative and building a solid investor-ready business plan on the New Frontiers programme in WIT, Immersive VR Holdings secured investments at several stages of their development, culminating in an IPO within three years of being on New Frontiers.”

Immersive VR Education’s listing on the Irish Stock exchange celebrates a number of firsts:

  • it’s the first IPO for an Irish tech firm on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) since its inception in 2005
  • it’s the first New Frontiers participant company to list on the Irish Stock Exchange
  • it’s also the first technology firm in the southeast ever to list on the Irish Stock Exchange

Virtual and augmented technologies as an education tool

Immersive VR Education’s free, award-winning platform, ENGAGE, allows educators and trainers to put together their own content in a virtual setting, inspiring students whether in a classroom, lecture theatre, operating theatre, or on the surface of Mars. The company has also won global accolades for its showcase experience, Apollo 11 VR. This multi-award winning educational experience is based on actual events and recreates the full Apollo 11 mission, using original NASA audio and mission data recorded during the 1969 moon landing. It has recently been announced that the Apollo 11 VR experience will feature as part of the launch collection for Oculus Go. In 2017, the company also launched an early release experience of the wreck of the Titanic.

The startup works with businesses and organisations such as Oculus, the BBC, HTC, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the University of Oxford. Post-IPO, the company is looking to establish ENGAGE as the world’s leading digital education and corporate training platform.

[featured image: Sandra Whelan, co-founder of Immersive VR Education, rings the bell at the Irish Stock Exchange. (l-r) Eugene Crehan (Director of Programmes, CEDRE, WIT), Sandra Whelan, Ciaran Cullen (Manager, ArcLabs) and David Whelan (CEO and co-founder, Immersive VR Education). Credit: SON Photographic]

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

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Cork - Rubicon - Showcase 2018 New Frontiers

New Frontiers Showcase event: Cork (Rubicon Centre)

Cork - Rubicon - Showcase 2018 New Frontiers

Showcase events are a significant milestone for New Frontiers participants. It’s a chance to bring their startup to the attention of local business people, and potentially benefit from the added exposure that comes from winning one of the awards on offer.

The Rubicon Centre (Cork Institute of Technology) held its showcase on Tuesday, 24th April at the Millennium Hall, City Hall, Cork. Joining the 13 New Frontiers graduates were Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Fergal Dennehy; Martin Corkery, Regional Director Enterprise Ireland; Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT; Liam Fitzgerald, New Frontiers Programme Manager, Rubicon Centre; and Maria Gavin, Programme Manager, Enterprise Ireland.

Also present were guest speaker, Tomás O’Leary (former Munster, Ireland and Grand Slam winning rugby player), and an expert panel made up of Orla Rimmington, Partner at Kernal Capital; Pat O’Flynn, CEO at Solvotrin Therapeutics; and Pat O’Connor, CEO at OrthoXel. The panel discussed startup themes such as raising finance, driving sales and the entrepreneurial journey. Senior leaders from business, academia and start-up support organisations in Cork and the broader region were in attendance, and members of the Taste Cork Network served up local artisan food.

“New Frontiers is unique in its national coverage with significant regional outreach as evidenced by CIT’s New Frontiers Phase 2 Programme. I would like to congratulate the graduates on their commitment to the New Frontiers process which has seen many go on to develop award-winning businesses to match their global ambition and acknowledge their bravery in embarking upon the entrepreneurial journey. I am in no doubt that all will benefit from the comprehensive set of business development supports that the programme affords.”

Maria Gavin, Programme Manager New Frontiers, Enterprise Ireland

Awards

Awards were presented for Best Business Opportunity and Overall Winner, Most Innovative Business Idea, Best Business Plan, Best Trade Stand and Best Video. Award winners were chosen by an independent panel of expert stakeholders from RDJ Solicitors, AIB, EY, The Irish Examiner and Cork Institute of Technology.

The winners were

  • Best Business Opportunity & Overall Winner: Joe Perrott – Remote Signals
  • Most Innovative Business Idea: Nusrat J M Sanghamitra – CyCa OncoSolutions
  • Best Business Plan: Kieran Gleeson – Freight Station
  • Best Trade Stand: Joseph Freyne – Swyft Energy
  • Best Video (panel): James Gale – StampOwl
  • Best Video (audience): Marie Therese Shortt – CulturePro

Guest speaker, Tomás O’Leary, former Munster, Ireland and Grand Slam winning rugby player, shared his experience in elite sport and how it applies to business. Tomás is co-founder of TOLD & CO, a designer watch brand. Tomás emphasized the role culture plays in professional sports teams. He explained that there is a direct link between fostering a team culture that expects high achievement, and success. This link is as relevant in business as it is in team sports.

“New Frontiers is the best programme of its kind in Ireland, with no equity taken in participant businesses. It gives businesses exposure to the full suite of supports available through Enterprise Ireland, including industry specialist mentors, market research resources, and international offices. It also acts as the most effective introduction to funding opportunities like the Competitive Start Fund and High Potential Start-up Funding. Participating on New Frontiers is likely to be the best strategic decision a business makes.”

Liam Fitzgerald, New Frontiers Programme Manager

Award winners with Liam Fitzgerald New Frontiers Programme Manager

Winner of Best Video, Jamie Gale, Stamp Owl, Winner of Best Innovative Product CYCA OncoSolutions, Dr Nusrat JN Sanjhanitra, Liam Fitzgerald, New Frontiers Programme Manager, Overall Winner Joe Perrott, Remote Signals and Winner of Best Business Plan Kieran Gleeson, Freight Solutions.


Former Munster Rugby Player Tomás O'Leary, Told & Co with Overall Winner Joe Perrott, Remote Signals

Former Munster Rugby Player Tomás O’Leary, Told & Co with Overall Winner Joe Perrott, Remote Signals.


Joe Perrott, Remote Signals and Liam Fitzgerald, Programme Manager at the Rubicon Centre

Overall Winner Joe Perrott, Remote Signals and Liam Fitzgerald, New Frontiers Programme Manager.


President of CIT Dr Barry O'Connor and Martin Corkery, Regional Director at Enterprise Ireland

President of CIT, Dr Barry O’Connor and Martin Corkery, Regional Director at Enterprise Ireland.

Class of 2018: profiles

Joseph Freyne – Swyft Energy

Swyft Energy is an online platform that streamlines boiler replacements for homeowners, saving them time, hassle and money! The platform gives customers full control over every aspect of a boiler replacement from video consultations, to flexible payment plans, warranties and aftersales service. The company was launched in late 2017 and is currently operating in Cork and Dublin

Vincent Forde – Gasgon Medical

Hospital systems are under pressure, now more than ever, with decreasing staff numbers and increasing patient numbers. Gasgon Medical is making a technology to support clinical staff in hospitals and home care environments globally through effective management of gas in fluids that can result in harm to patients. Our device reduces exposure to risks associated with air embolism during IV infusions.

Gasgon products will enable medical staff to divert their attention to more pressing tasks, safe in the knowledge that their patients are being protected. The result will be less risk, less waste and improved efficiency leading to more predictable workflows and budget planning across hospital or home care environments. With Gasgon products, all patients can be INFUSED WITH CONFIDENCE.

Kevin Corr – iLine Software Solutions

iLine Software Solutions offer an OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) performance management software solution for production lines. Every year manufacturing companies lose millions of euros due to downtime on their productions lines. Our software solution enables these companies to save money by minimising downtime losses and other inefficiencies on their production lines. We automate the task of collecting data from the factory floor and our software presents actionable information in dashboards and reports in an intuitive way. iLine is the first fully model-based system of its kind. This means that our customers can implement our solution without incurring any software development costs. Typically our solution can be implemented without causing downtime on existing production lines. We offer the easiest to implement, easiest to use and lowest risk product on the market.

Marie Therese Shortt – CulturePro

CulturePro is the first online B2B cross-cultural training platform designed using next-generation technologies. CulturePro supports employees in real-time with customised, visual information, to improve employee communication in a fast growing, culturally diverse workforce. Developed in direct partnership with multinational companies it has been tailored to their needs to ensure employees are better prepared for intercultural communication at the office and during international business travels. CulturePro offers a personalised and gamified learning experience through its intuitive interface. Dr Marie Therese Shortt, a Norwegian/ Irish visual communicator and keen traveller, came up with the idea for CulturePro after completion of her PhD in the area of Visualising Intercultural Communication.

Conor O Sullivan – ARQ Asset Solutions

At ARQ, we are passionate about engineering asset reliability.  We believe that every asset owner, manager, and operator deserves to experience the certainty that true asset reliability can deliver.  Industries such as utilities/ power generation, manufacturing, and transport, rely on rotating machinery to produce product for the consumer, which in turn rely on good quality oil to operate reliably and continuously.  Modern oils, however, degrade quickly because of heat and contamination, which results in failures.  The cost to Irish industry alone is €1 billion annually in avoidable losses. ARQ consider the oil in a similar way to blood in the body and apply a low-cost continuous condition monitoring IOT system to allow asset owners monitor anything, anywhere, and at any time.

Aaron Collins – MySitter

MySitter finds professional childminders for your home. Childcare is a necessity for all working parents yet it remains one of the biggest contributors to stress, anxiety, and worry. MySitter finds, employs and insures the highest quality childcare professionals in Ireland. We adopt an in-depth vetting process which includes Garda Vetting, CV and reference checks. Our staff have childcare qualifications in Fetac Level 5/QQI or higher with at least three years of professional experience. We’re hiring the top 100 childcare professionals in Ireland. Our mission is to revolutionise working conditions. We reward MySitter employees with salary increases of 22% compared to current preschool roles. MySitter employees have the opportunity to progress their childcare careers like never before.

Kieran Gleeson – Freight Station

Freight Station is a software as a service (SaaS) based platform for the road freight industry. Our aim is to connect freight forwarders, hauliers and their drivers on a single cloud-based platform. Our mission is to digitalise all business processes between these stakeholders. Our platform offers customers digitalised documentation and instant shipment notifications. Up to 25% of companies’ time is wasted using out of date paper-based systems. By using Freight Station customers have real-time information on shipments and are more proactive in providing their own customers with better service. We have successfully solved two of the biggest problems in the industry, proof of delivery and tracking of shipments. This is a Brexit ready solution for an industry that is digitalising now.

Martin O’ Flynn – PeakSoft

Every individual and every company has things they want to be, do or have.  Yet according to the ‘University of Scranton’ 92% fail to achieve their goals.  PeakSoft addresses this issue with a software service that systematizes goal attainment.  It helps individuals to figure out what they want, why they want it, how to get it and to do what is necessary to achieve it. It is the ultimate planning and organization software that helps users to become more efficient with their time and more effective with their actions. The B2B version targets SME’s with advanced project management and performance tracking features.  It maximizes synergies between cross-functional teams to achieve corporate goals.

Nusrat J M Sanghamitra – CyCa OncoSolutions

Biomolecular nanomachines for programmed drug delivery! Cancer drugs are toxic and we all know how chemotherapy makes patients very sick during the healing process. CyCa OncoSolutions has developed a biomolecular nanomachine as a high speed, high precision drug delivery device. Our device works like a molecular drilling machine and carries drugs across the cell membrane as you carry your luggage through automatic doors. It is like molecular FedEx for drugs. FedEx delivers your parcels at your doorstep and our device delivers drugs precisely at its cellular target site with 1/10th dose. This will improve the quality of life of fifteen million cancer patients worldwide, advance the global fight against cancer and reduce the public health burden.

Joe Perrott – Remote Signals

Remote Signals enables businesses to easily obtain operating data from remote assets using their Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software platform. These assets can be varied, for example current applications include temperature of cold chain refrigeration stores, operating parameters of industrial machinery, farm soil conditions, etc. Our hardware platform represents the world’s easiest way to connect remote assets; our cloud computing platform makes those assets ‘smart’. This combination of ‘connected’ and ‘smart’ opens up previously untapped revenue opportunities and benefits for the assets’ owners. The Remote Signals platform is live, and being used all around Ireland and parts of the EU today.

David Casey – Lumin House

Behind the Lumin House brand, we are a team of passionate professional photographers, dedicated to our craft and the search for innovative ways to make life that little bit easier. Our product is a beautiful, online photo storage system that becomes the gallery of a lifetime for a photographer’s clients. We put the photographer first, not just in generating extra income through our unique commission-based revenue system, but also, moving the responsibility of long-term image storage to the client. We are dedicated to providing your clients with a beautiful, safe and convenient way to store and show off their pictures to friends and family, wherever and whenever they want to.

James Gale – StampOwl

StampOwl is an app for your phone that allows you to send real, physical Postcards from your smartphone in 3 easy steps! StampOwl also provides businesses with a unique marketing opportunity. Businesses now have the opportunity to utilise a customer’s network of close friends and family to advertise their products/services by means of recommendations. When a customer is in the geographical location of one of StampOwl’s Business clients, they receive a push notification inviting them to send a free Postcard. The Postcard arrives containing an advertising banner along the bottom, designed by the business. This unique solution can help a business expand its customer base and directly increase sales. Get 50% off your first Postcard now. Just download StampOwl from the App Store or Google Play store and enter the coupon code “SAVE50” at the checkout. Offer available while stocks last!

Darragh Enright – MerchKitty

Live music is a globally growing market, and selling concert tickets and merchandise is a cornerstone activity for many musicians. The “merch stand” is a familiar staple of most live events, and a chance for newly-minted and established fans to bring home a t-shirt or recording as a memento of a great night out. MerchKitty is a smartphone-friendly SaaS platform that empowers musicians to make more from their merch stand and increase their merchandising revenue. MerchKitty allows musicians to accept simple and secure digital payments for point-of-sale and preorder sales, build relationships with fans, automate inventory management, and gain data-driven insights into their touring and merchandising business.

If you’re interested in applying to the New Frontiers programme, you can express your interest here. Or find out more about what’s on offer at the Rubicon Centre.

About the author

Mary Casey New Frontiers

Mary Casey

Mary Casey is the New Frontiers Programme Co-Ordinator at Limerick Institute of Technology’s Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre…. [Read Mary’s profile]

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