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Who runs New Frontiers?

New Frontiers is the national entrepreneurial development programme for ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas which have the potential to scale and provide employment. It provides the skills, support and confidence needed to make the leap to starting a successful business.

It is delivered on behalf of Enterprise Ireland by Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities in 18 locations nationwide.

Consisting of practical and interactive workshops, personalised one-to-one mentoring, financial support and co-working space, New Frontiers is a game-changer for anyone serious about developing their business idea into a successful start-up.

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.

What are the main benefits of the programme?

The main benefits of the programme are:

  • It offers regional access to applicants across 13 programmes and 18 locations.
  • Open to business ideas from across all sectors including food & consumer products; information & communication technology; engineering & electronics; medical devices; biotechnology; pharma, digital media; cleantech/renewable energy and eligible internationally traded services
  • Support package valued at €30,000 including a €15,000 tax-free stipend in Phase 2 – subject to satisfactory performance – with no equity taken in your business
  • Further support is available in Phase 3 to the value of €10,000+
  • Personalised one-to-one mentoring offered by seasoned business mentors from the Enterprise Ireland Mentor Network.
  • Expert advice and guidance from experienced programme team, business practitioners, investors and other entrepreneurs within the Institutes of Technology and Universities.
  • Access to R&D facilities and specialist expertise from within the Institutes of Technology/Universities, including access to interns & graduates.
  • Practitioner-led workshops in all areas of building a business.
  • Regular milestone review meetings to monitor your progress.
  • Free co-working space (during Phase 2 and 3).
  • Support and guidance in the development of a strong business plan.
  • Opportunity to connect with relevant agencies (Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland) to get information on other funding and supports available.
  • Access to Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre.
  • Introductions to seed and early-stage capital investment networks.

When is the next recruitment phase?

Recruitment dates vary around the country. You can consult each location’s deadline for applications in our online calendar.

If you are interested in applying, the first step is to register your interest with the Programme Manager at your chosen location using our online form.

You can apply to more than one location. If your application is not successful, you are still welcome to apply to a different location or a new cycle of the programme.

Please note that if the programme you register for is not included on the calendar it means that the programme has already commenced, or recruitment is not yet open.  The relevant Programme Manager will contact you when recruitment opens.

How does New Frontiers differ from other accelerator programmes?

New Frontiers differs from privately-funded accelerator programmes in that it does not take equity in the start-ups it supports. The main focus of the programme is assisting the entrepreneur (promoter) to develop the skills necessary to take their early-stage idea from business concept to investable business.

Do I have to complete Phase 1 in order to apply to Phase 2 of the programme?

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 state funding?

If you or a co-founder has received previous funding (public or private) for this or any other business idea, it may have a bearing on your eligibility to receive the Phase 2 stipend.  If you are a shareholder in another business that has received funding, this may also affect receipt of the stipend.

  • Applicants are required to disclose any funding either recently received or applied for, at the time of their application to Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme. If funding has been applied for or previously received by a co-founder, this information should also be declared on the application form. In the case of co-founders, no additional feasibility support can be applied for by another co-founder relating to the same project at any time.
  • If an applicant is already in receipt of LEO Feasibility or Priming Grant funding, they may be offered a place on the programme but may not be eligible to receive the stipend.*
  • Individuals are eligible to apply for, at any given time, ONE of the following supports awarded through public bodies: New Frontiers stipend, HPSU Start feasibility, Foodworks, Competitive Start Fund, LEO Feasibility, Udaras Na Gaeltachta Feasibility.

There are three exceptions where the New Frontiers participant can be in receipt of the New Frontiers stipend whilst receiving additional funding, these are:

  1. Enterprise Innovation Vouchers
  2. Funding received through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
  3. LEO Priming Grant: There can be an overlap in funding between being in receipt of the New Frontiers stipend and the LEO Priming Grant ONLY for the element covering salary costs for additional team members/staff (other than those promoters who are in receipt of the New Frontiers stipend).
    No other elements of the Priming grant are eligible whilst the participant is still receiving the New Frontiers stipend.

* If you are unsure of how past funding may affect your participation on New Frontiers/eligibility to receive the stipend, please contact the Programme Manager at the location you are interested in.

Can my business partner/co-founder and I both apply to the programme?

You can both apply to the programme, but only one individual may be nominated to attend the programme and receive the €15,000 stipend.

Do I need to register my business in order to participate on New Frontiers?

No, you do not need to have already registered your business in order to participate on the New Frontiers programme.  It may be necessary to register your company in the future if you intend to apply for other agency supports (Innovation Vouchers or Competitive Start Fund, for example). Please note however that from the date of incorporation in Ireland, a company must be less than 3 years old to qualify for Competitive Start Fund (CSF) and less than 5 years old to quality for Enterprise Ireland HPSU funding.

Am I eligible to apply for New Frontiers if I have participated on the programme before?

If you have participated on Phase 1 previously you are eligible to apply for Phase 2 at a later stage. However, individuals are not eligible to apply for Phase 2 if they have already completed the programme in previous years.