New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme, funded and managed by Enterprise Ireland. It is delivered at a local level through the Institutes of Technology by seasoned business practitioners and entrepreneurs.
It differs from privately-funded accelerator programmes in that it focuses on developing the skills and capabilities of the entrepreneur; progressing their early-stage ideas from business concept to investable business.
Each year, since its inception in 2012, New Frontiers has supported over 500 participants in the establishment of their new businesses. Many of these businesses have gone on to receive investment from Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) or Enterprise Ireland through the various funding and investment options available.
- New Frontiers is impartial and does not take an equity stake in the startups it supports.
- It offers regional access to applicants across 13 programmes.
- Participants on Phase 2 get a tax-free stipend of up to €15,000, or €2,500 for each of the six months of the programme. This scholarship is paid to the participating entrepreneur, not to the business.
- Throughout the programme, participants will have the opportunity to connect with relevant agencies (Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland) to get information on other funding and supports available.
- Participants can access R&D facilities and tap into specialist expertise from within the Institutes of Technology, including access to interns.
- Applicants will have access to the Enterprise Ireland Market Research Centre, where they can carry out invaluable primary and secondary market research.
- Hotdesking and other incubation facilities are available.
- Access to training, mentoring and support.
Recruitment dates vary regionally. You can consult regional deadlines for applications in our online calendar. If you are interested in applying, you should contact the Programme Manager at your local Institute of Technology using our online form.
New Frontiers differs from privately-funded accelerator programmes in that it does not take equity in the startups it supports. The main focus of the programme is supporting the entrepreneur (promoter) rather than the enterprise. The goal of the programme is to help the entrepreneur take their early-stage idea from business concept to investable business.
No, you don’t have to complete Phase 1 in order to join Phase 2 of New Frontiers. However, it is recommended that you complete both phases in order to benefit as much as possible from the programme. Participating on Phase 1 will also help you to make a stronger application for Phase 2 and improve your chances of being accepted.
Can I participate in the New Frontiers Programme if I have previously received Enterprise Ireland funding?
If you have received Enterprise Ireland or Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funding in the previous two years, you can still participate in the programme but will not be eligible for the €15,000 stipend. The exceptions to this rule are:
- Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers
- SBIR funding
- LEO Priming Grant, where the salary cost of a member of the team (other than the recipient of the stipend) is eligible
You can both apply, but only one individual may be nominated to attend the programme and receive the €15,000 stipend.
Is new Frontiers for me?
To help you decide if this programme is for you, we’ve put together some short, themed videos featuring interviews with previous participants.