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New Frontiers

Lauren O Reilly and Bidemi Afolabi cofounders of ProMotion rewards

ProMotion Rewards Is Creating Real Value For Both Brands And Consumers

By New Frontiers blog
ProMotion Rewards is a consumer rewards startup that connects brands and shoppers. Founded by Bidemi Afolabi and Lauren O’Reilly, the company recently raised €725,000 in pre-seed investment. For this blog, we spoke to New Frontiers alumna Lauren about the journey so far. Lauren and Bidemi met while completing degrees in pharmacy. In fact, they had an idea for a different promotion startup before having the lightbulb moment that led to developing the ProMotion Rewards app. Because of their degrees, the founders were already immersed in research and gathering data. While working for a large retail pharmacy group, Lauren saw first-hand how retailers of all types need customer insights that they can turn into concrete business results. But are loyalty cards...
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Startup In Waterford Dr Eugene Crehan Introduces Us To The South East Ecosystem

Startup In Waterford! Dr Eugene Crehan Introduces Us To The Southeast’s Ecosystem

By New Frontiers blog
The sunny southeast isn't just an idyllic holiday spot, it’s also an ideal place to live and work. Waterford – the country’s oldest city – has been voted the “best place to live in Ireland” and also boasts a vibrant network of business support agencies and organisations. The newly formed South East Technological University (SETU) delivers the New Frontiers programme at campuses in Waterford and Carlow. Today, we’re catching up with the New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford, Dr Eugene Crehan. He oversees all programmes at the Centre for Enterprise Development & Regional Economy (CEDRE) at South East Technological University (SETU), formerly Waterford Institute of Technology. New Frontiers Waterford past participants include the CEOs of Engage XR (the first New...
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Start your business idea with New Frontiers Phase 1 - Martina Goss

New Frontiers Phase 1: Start Your Business Off On The Right Foot

By New Frontiers blog
In this blog, former Programme Manager Martina Goss explains how to maximise the opportunities available to you on Phase 1 of New Frontiers. So you have the innovative business idea and received the good news that you have secured your place on Phase 1 of New Frontiers. Now the fun begins – it's time to start validating the commercial potential of your idea. But with so many things to do, how can you ensure that you maximise the use of your time on Phase 1 and ensure you are on the right track towards validating your idea to arrive at a go/no go decision? Here are some points to consider to help you stay focused on what matters most.   ...
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Darragh Lynch Uccello New Frontiers programme case study

Alumni Profiles: Tipping Point In A Search For The Dream

By New Frontiers blog
A letter from a stranger proved to be the catalyst for Kerryman Darragh Lynch, who had worked as an executive for huge conglomerates in mining, oil, and gas across the Middle East and South America for most of his adult life. Darragh had grown accustomed to the big salary, the opportunities to travel across the world, and the high-end perks that came with his job. But after 21 years, the appeal of 'stuff' was wearing thin. Darragh wanted more fulfilment in his career. As a starting point, he pursued an MBA at the University of Western Australia and started consulting. Darragh explains that the MBA would help him to “burst through my own glass ceiling. I had about 13 different projects...
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Turn Dreaming Into Doing! Updates From The New Frontiers Programme

Turn Dreaming Into Doing! Updates From The New Frontiers Programme

By New Frontiers blog
Paula Carroll is the New Frontiers National Programme Manager at Enterprise Ireland. She is the connection between Enterprise Ireland and the 18 locations that deliver the programme around Ireland. Her role is incredibly varied and on any given day she may be welcoming new participants on the programme via Zoom (at the moment), running a programme managers’ meeting, or promoting the programme on the radio or in press interviews. If you’ve been to any New Frontiers events, pre-Covid, you may well have met Paula as she makes a point of attending showcase events and launches across the country. I caught up with Paula to find out how the past 18 months have affected the programme and what plans she has...
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Conor Grimes Spoonful Botanicals New Frontiers programme alumnus

Alumni profiles: An epic journey towards the dream

By New Frontiers blog
A big dream can grow from humble roots. It was a trip to India after graduating from college that started it all for Conor Grimes and Jayne Gavin. While exploring Asia, the young couple visited spice markets and saw locals using fresh herbs and spices as a way to help inflammation. It ignited a new passion that grew into Spoonful Botanical. “They were really promoting these natural foods and natural ingredients to combat inflammation,” Conor says. He started to think of home and his grandmother who was taking medication for arthritis at the time, which was particularly tough on her stomach. “So we decided to bring back home some of the spices to see if she could get any relief...
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Derya Kianda TechnologiesNew Frontiers programme alumna

Alumni profiles: Breaking the code, building the dream

By New Frontiers blog
Just one in two hundred people knows how to code. That’s a lot of people around the world relying on a small pool of programmers! This knowledge gap is something Derya and Osvaldo Sousa were intent on solving when they developed their no-code application platform, Kianda Technologies, in 2017. The dream to develop their own tech startup was 16 years in the making, but back then - as a young couple studying in Portugal - it was difficult to see how they could make it a reality. “It was a bit risky for us back then. There wasn’t a lot of support. We didn’t have great examples and so it just faded away,” Derya says. They moved to Ireland in...
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Ivan Tuohy Great Visitor Experiences New Frontiers programme alumnus

Alumni profiles: Unlock your potential, back your dream

By New Frontiers blog
For hospitality expert Ivan Tuohy, it was a trip to Alcatraz that proved the key to unlocking the potential of a dream that had languished for years. “It really hit me that the challenges that I had in my own workplace in Ireland were actually the same challenges that many attractions and museums had all around the world,” says Ivan, founder and CEO of Great Visitor Experiences. A hotelier by trade, he was working as a general manager for one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland and had recently completed an MBA at the University of Limerick. It was 2018 and new innovations in technology were transforming user experiences across various sectors, but tourism operators were still relying on...
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l-r Ann Marie Phelan - Tom Flanagan - Paula Carroll - New Frontiers at NovaUCD

New Frontiers Comes To NovaUCD At University College Dublin

By New Frontiers blog
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...
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Project One Sky Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

Project One Sky: Developing Wellbeing Education For Young Adults

By New Frontiers blog
Depression and anxiety have been on the rise in children. The HSE reports that almost 1 in 4 young people may experience depression before they are 19. The disruption this causes to their lives and education is significant. Project One Sky is a New Frontiers startup that is changing how we help young people develop their social, mental, and physical health. We talked to founder Dr Colm Fallon to find out more. First things first, what’s the elevator pitch for Project One Sky? Project One Sky is a human development and wellbeing programme designed to nurture resilience and to help students cope with and flourish in the modern world. Its aim is twofold – to teach students to look after...
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Spilling The Beans event provides great insights for food sector startups New Frontiers

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

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

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

By New Frontiers blog
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....
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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

By New Frontiers blog
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...
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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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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

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

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

By New Frontiers blog
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...
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Cork - Rubicon - Showcase 2018 New Frontiers

New Frontiers Showcase event: Cork (Rubicon Centre)

By New Frontiers blog
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...
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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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Featured startup Bruno Lanvin, Dmbook New Frontiers

Featured startup: Bruno Lanvin, Dmbook

By New Frontiers blog
Dmbook Pro is a Dublin-based company providing ICT solutions for hotels. With over 10 years in hotel management, Bruno Lanvin recognised flaws in the traditional spreadsheets, paper and email communication network used in hotels all across Europe. It was this initial observation that lead to the creation of Dmbook Pro. Bruno has worked in the hospitality industry in France, Scotland and Ireland, but he didn't initially plan on transforming hotel communication networks. But as Front of House Manager, once having identified a problem, it was in his interest to form a solution. Hotels are an old establishment, but like every business they rely on the need for effective communication between personnel, “I had this pain of trying to make sure...
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New Frontiers -Enterprise Ireland - Competitive Start Fund CSF

Calling New Frontiers alumni! Competitive Start Fund now open

By New Frontiers blog
If you're a New Frontiers startup in manufacturing or internationally traded services including internet, games, apps, mobile, SaaS, cloud computing, enterprise software, lifesciences, food, cleantech and industrial products, then the latest call for Competitive Start Fund applications could be the funding opportunity you were looking for! What is on offer? A total of €1.5 million in startup funding will be available from Enterprise Ireland when two Competitive Start Funds (CSF) open for applications on Wednesday 21 June 2017. Up to 30 successful applicants will receive high-level business development support and an investment of up to €50,000 each through the Regional Entrepreneurship and Fintech CSFs. Startups located outside of County Dublin are invited to apply to the €1m Regional Entrepreneurship CSF...
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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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Eamon Crosby BriteBiz New Frontiers programme

Case study: BriteBiz – business management solution

By New Frontiers blog
BriteBiz is a Galway-based technology company that specialises in end-to-end business management software. The company's CEO, Eamon Crosby, took part in the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC 12 years ago, Eamon Crosby has been involved in founding and managing a number of different companies, mainly in the service and events industry. "I had been involved first hand in managing and scaling various companies. We constantly came up against roadblocks with the amount of administration load involved and continually sought ways to streamline processes. Although we were always using modern management tools such as Salesforce and Quickbooks, there was no efficient way to integrate them and create a streamlined,...
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Dr Chris Horn & Audience at the DIT IADT New Frontiers Showcase

Valuable insights at the DIT/IADT New Frontiers Showcase

By New Frontiers blog
Cast your mind into the future and imagine that your ‘start-up’ is employing more than 1,000 people in 22 offices around the globe, has clients such as Boeing and has just been acquired for more than $160m. Then imagine that the investment bank handling the sale goes belly-up, taking with it all the proceeds of the sale. That’s the doomsday scenario which Irish tech legend, Dr Chris Horn, avoided by a mere 48 hours in 2008. 48 hours from disaster Dr Chris Horn Speaking at the recent 2016 Showcase of the DIT/IADT New Frontiers Programme, Chris recalled a Friday afternoon in September 2008 when he received a call from Lehman Bros to advise that the sale of Iona Technologies to...
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Featured startup Aidan Duff Fifty One Bikes New Frontiers

Featured startup: Aidan Duff, Fifty One Bikes

By New Frontiers blog
Aidan started his career as top level amateur cyclist in Ireland, going on to race in France for over six years. When he returned to Ireland, he naturally started working in the cycle industry, initially in retail and then moving into distribution. The early beginnings of Fifty One, Aidan’s startup, can be traced back to a trip he took to some of the most reputable bicycle manufacturing facilities in Italy and Germany. Despite their reputations, Aidan came away somewhat underwhelmed by the standards he saw in the processes and finishing involved. Despite the lack of manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Aidan was convinced that he could do better. With his solid industry background - Aidan had already established one of the...
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The New Frontiers Internet of Things Summit at GMIT

By New Frontiers blog
The New Frontiers ‘Internet of Things (IoT) Summit’ at GMIT was held on 26th February and proved to be a major success with hundreds of delegates from across the country in attendance to hear about internet-connected objects and opportunities for new businesses and new business applications. GMIT New Frontiers start-up BriteBiz won ‘Best Emerging Business Award’ in the pitching competition which ran as part of the overall conference. Entrepreneur Eamon Crosby of BriteBiz was presented with a €10,000 prize fund from sponsor KPMG. BriteBiz provides an end to end SaaS Business Management Software Platform for companies in service based industries. It is designed to integrate and streamline processes from lead generation to sales and marketing automation, booking management to client...
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Perfect pitches and robust questioning at Business Competition Final

By New Frontiers blog
Business leaders, owners and investors turned out in force last Thursday evening in the Regional Development Centre (Dundalk Institute of Technology) to witness the head to head final of the New Frontiers Programme Pitch Competition. The competition brought to an end the 2015 New Frontiers Programme which is a national programme funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered in the North East by DkIT in collaboration with DCU. The competition was judged by Patrick Joy (EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013), John Phelan (Halo Business Angels Network) Michael Farrell (PKF-FPM), Amanda Murphy (AIB) and Aidan Browne (RDC) with a prize of €15,000 for the winner. The eight finalists are all early-stage startups, many of whom gave up employment within the past 12 months...
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The New Frontiers programme: 2015-2016

By New Frontiers blog
Happy New Year to all our website visitors and programme alumni! I thought I would take this opportunity to look back at 2015, and to outline a few of the changes that will be coming to the programme in 2016. 2015: our best year yet! The programme 2015 was a great year for the Enterprise Ireland team that oversees the New Frontiers programme. It was the fourth year the programme has been delivered across Ireland. So, not only were we able to discover the exciting new startups being created, but we also witnessed the amazing progress made by the entrepreneurs we have supported in previous years. During the course of 2015, 1,121 people expressed an interest in the programme via...
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Tips for making a successful Phase 2 application

By New Frontiers blog
There are some basic mistakes often made by applicants to Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme. Here are my tips on how entrepreneurs can craft a compelling argument and avoid the most common pitfalls when it comes to preparing their applications. Entrepreneurs are positive, energetic and driven people; they believe they can do anything they set out to do.  But if they come across someone who doesn't believe in their idea the way they do, it can lead to doubt and uncertainty. Applying for Phase 2 can be one of those times when these two perspectives collide. You know all the good things about your business proposition – why can’t they just agree with you?! Having been a business person and...
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10 tips for entrepreneurs thinking of applying to New Frontiers

By New Frontiers blog
Because New Frontiers is a nationwide programme open to entrepreneurs from a wide variety of sectors, it’s often difficult to answer the question “Am I eligible?” with a simple yes or no. Here are some factors you should consider if you're thinking of applying to the programme. 1: Applications are accepted at different times, so applicants should contact their preferred Institute of Technology directly to find out when the next round of applications should be submitted. 2: The first port of call for prospective participants is to get in touch with the incubator at their local Institute of Technology and talk to the local Programme Manager. He or she will be able to give you concrete feedback on whether or not New Frontiers...
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