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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

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 Merrill 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 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]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Coworking space vs the traditional office – which will you choose?

5 tips for recruiting a stellar first hire for your startup!

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

Winners of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards (IBYE) announced

New Frontiers -Enterprise Ireland - Competitive Start Fund CSF

Calling New Frontiers alumni! Competitive Start Fund now open

New Frontiers -Enterprise Ireland - Competitive Start Fund CSF

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 – this fund is also open to participants of the New Frontiers Phase 2 programme nationwide. Applications to the €500k Fintech CSF will be accepted from early-stage companies offering a Financial Technology (Fintech) product or service.

What can CSF do for you?

Enterprise Ireland’s CSF is designed to accelerate the growth of startups and enable companies to reach key commercial and technical milestones. The goal of CSF is to provide support for companies that have the capability to become High Potential StartUps (HPSUs). What defines an HPSU? The potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1 million in sales within 3 to 4 years of starting up.

At the time of the call’s launch, the then Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said:

“The launch of Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Entrepreneurship and Fintech CSFs, amounting to a total of €1.5 million in funding, will provide valuable financial and business support to early-stage companies who have global ambition for their businesses. Companies based outside of Dublin who successfully apply for the Regional Entrepreneurship CSF will avail of critical early-stage funding and support for their businesses, while the Fintech CSF aims to stimulate start-up activity in the Fintech sector as part of the IFS2020 Strategy.”

The funds are open to companies active in manufacturing and internationally traded services including internet, games, apps, mobile, SaaS, cloud computing, enterprise software, lifesciences, food, cleantech and industrial products.

Joe Healy, Divisional Manager – High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland said:

“Ireland is a hub for Fintech innovation and a key focus of Enterprise Ireland is to encourage and support more entrepreneurs through the Fintech CSF in the areas of Payments, Banking, RegTech, Security, and InsurTech as well as Fintech solutions that leverage Blockchain, IoT, AI and Data Intelligence technologies. Up to 10 companies will receive up to €50k each through this fund and we are also delighted to announce that this year’s Fintech CSF will be accompanied by a programme of tailored business development supports and incubation space in partnership with Bank of Ireland’s innovation team.”

What is new this time around?

Good news for applicants outside of County Dublin

Joe Healy continued,  “For the first time, up to 20 companies outside of County Dublin may be approved up to €50k each through Enterprise Ireland’s largest ever Regional Entrepreneurship CSF, valued at up to €1 million. It’s also the first time that we are specifically targeting participants of the New Frontiers Phase 2 programme.”

This call is open to anyone who has participated in Phase 2 of the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme at some point in the past 3 years.

Access to a new incubation startlab at Bank of Ireland

David Tighe, Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland says:

“Bank of Ireland are delighted to provide incubation space to this year’s Enterprise Ireland Fintech CSF, our new startlab based in Camden Street will incubate these high potential startups and alongside desk space also provide access to a full range of tailored business supports including mentorship and support from our dedicated Innovation and Enterprise team. We look forward to welcoming the Fintech CSF companies to Camden Street as we continue to support the innovative and thriving fintech and start-up community today in Ireland.”

How to apply

Applications open on Wednesday 21 June 2017. In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch. Companies must meet certain eligibility criteria and applicants may apply for either the Regional Entrepreneurship or Fintech CSF, but not both.

Both competitions will close at 3pm on Wednesday 5 July 2017. If you’re interested in applying, take a look at our previous article, Making a successful Competitive Start Fund (CSF) application, which explains the marking system and has a variety of additional tips and resources.

The Enterprise Ireland website also has some great CSF case studies and videos with entrepreneurs who have previously received funding.

About the author

Scarlet Merrill

Scarlet Merrill 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

Coworking space vs the traditional office – which will you choose?

5 tips for recruiting a stellar first hire for your startup!

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

Winners of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards (IBYE) announced

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