New Frontiers emerged in 2012 out of the individual “Enterprise Platform Programmes” (EPP) which had operated in the Institutes of Technology since 2001 and were funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). It is funded and managed by Enterprise Ireland, and delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology. However, New Frontiers is not an academic programme and is delivered by seasoned business practitioners and entrepreneurs.
- The programme is impartial, and doesn’t take any equity stake in the start-ups it supports. It is also a national programme, offering regional access to applicants.
- New Frontiers offers participants 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.
- Because both Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices network are involved throughout the programme, participants can quickly connect with relevant staff and funding programmes in these agencies, such as Enterprise Ireland’s innovation vouchers, or Competitive Start Fund or HPSU investment.
- Participants can access R&D facilities and tap into specialist expertise from within the Institutes, and may be able to easily access interns.
- Applicants can carry out invaluable primary and secondary market research at Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre.
- Hot-desk and other incubation facilities.
- 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 its main focus is on the entrepreneur rather than the enterprise and thus it is concerned with progressing more early-stage ideas from business concept to investable business. In its first year, New Frontiers supported 150 entrepreneurs in the establishment of their new businesses. Within six months of that programme completing, many of the participating early-stage companies have achieved first sales (domestic and overseas), taken on new hires, secured investment from private equity companies, secured deals with large multi-nationals and have won a number of prestigious awards and accolades. 25 companies have received equity investment from Enterprise Ireland (20 Competitive Start Fund investments and 5 HPSU investments).
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 funding in the past two years, you can still participate in the programme but will not be eligible for the €15,000 stipend. The exception to this rule is Innovation Vouchers.
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.