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New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme


New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme

New Frontiers is Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for innovative, early-stage startups. It is a three-phased programme, based in 14 campus incubation centres across the country. Each year, New Frontiers funds 150 companies.

If you believe that you are capable of building a sustainable new business, trading internationally, creating employment and generating revenue in your locality, act now and apply for a place on Ireland's largest entrepreneur development programme.


Main Benefits of this Programme

  • De-risk your business model
  • €15,000 tax-free grant
  • No equity taken from your business
  • Hot-desk and incubation facilities
  • Introduction to government and private investment opportunities

Hear from successful past participants


“Coming from engineering backgrounds, New Frontiers taught us exactly what we needed to know to make our business a success as entrepreneurs." - Ciaran Davies, Zoodazzle
“The programme helped us to define our value proposition and to build the team and business plan to raise €600k in seed funding.”
- Stephen Slattery, Zeto
“The New Frontiers Programme has made me more confident as an entrepreneur. It helped me to face the opportunity and risk in a balanced way.”- Xuemei Germaine, MicroGen Biotech

Programme Outline

New Frontiers is a three-phase programme that is designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development supports to participants.


Phase 1 - Validate

The first phase will be part-time over an 8-10 week period and will help you to validate the market potential of your business idea. These weekend and evening workshops will provide information and general start-up training, allowing you to tease out your idea’s feasibility and to see whether a viable proposition exists.

  • Two evenings per week for 8-10 weeks
  • Business validation and market research workshops
  • Peer to peer networking and learning
  • Continue in your current job
  • Greater chance of access to Phase 2
  • De-risk your business model
  • Go/no-go decision

Phase 2 - Plan

Following a competitive selection process, committed participants who have a strong value proposition and who can demonstrate that their business proposition has potential to grow and create jobs may be offered a place on Phase 2. Access to Phase 2 is subject to previous receipt of state funding.

If successful, you will receive intensive support for six months to develop both your own skills and to work up your business proposition. This will entail full-time participation in workshops, mentoring and regular reviews. Using these supports, you will fully detail and validate your business proposition and identify potential customers, sales channels and funding options.

You must be available for full-time participation in this six month course. To facilitate this, you will receive up to €15,000 in funding subject to satisfactory performance and development reviews.

The aim of this phase is to support you in your development of an investor-ready business plan.

  • Full time incubation support for 6 months
  • €15,000 tax-free grant
  • No equity taken from your business
  • Develop a strong business plan
  • Comprehensive and intensive mentorship and coaching
  • Peer to peer networking and learning
  • Hot-desk and other incubation facilities
  • Web hosting and support from Amazon worth $15,000
  • Access to Microsoft’s BizSpark platform for software developers worth €100,000

Phase 3 - Develop

Businesses emerging from Phase 2 will be guided to the most relevant government supports that can best help them at their particular stage of development. Further incubation facilities and support may be available to participants for a limited period, in conjunction with ongoing support from the Incubation Centre Management team.

  • Full time for 2-3 months
  • Further hot-desk and incubation facilities
  • Introduction to government and private investment opportunities
  • Delivering on the business plan

Am I Eligible - Who Should Apply?

The New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme is targeted at entrepreneurs and early stage start-up companies located across Ireland. The programme is open to applications from a diversity of sectors including; food & consumer products, information & communication technology, engineering & electronics, medical devices, biotechnology, pharma, digital media, cleantech/renewable energy and eligible internationally traded services. Ideally applicants have the following characteristics;

  • Intend establishing a manufacturing or internationally traded services business OR a new domestically traded service business with the potential to trade internationally.
  • Ambitious and have the capability and commitment needed to develop a sustainable business.
  • Growth orientated - planning to achieve turnover greater than €500,000 and create more than five jobs in three to five years time.
  • Develop a business that is built upon on a strong foundation of innovation and/or technology.
  • Show evidence of a commercial market for your proposed product or service.

How do I Apply?

Applications for the New Frontiers Programme are now being accepted by your local Institute of Technology. Interested applicants should contact their nearest participating Institute of Technology directly using the contact details below.

Note: No applications will be available from or considered by Enterprise Ireland.
New Frontiers Map

Key Contacts/More Information


Key Contact

Start Dates 2014
Phase 1

Start Dates 2014
Phase 2

Athlone Institute of Technology
in partnership with
NUI Maynooth
EmailBert Farrell, Programme Manager
Tel. 090-6483043
Cork Institute of TechnologyEmailPeter Finnegan, Case Manager
Rubicon Centre
Tel. 021 4928916
Feb & SeptJune
Dublin Institute of Technology
in collaboration with
Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire
EmailEoin Costello, Programme Manager
Hothouse Innovation Centre
Tel. 01 240 1307

EmailDominic Mullan, Innovation & Commercialisation Manager
Tel. 01 239 4625
March & SeptJan & June
Dundalk Institute of TechnologyEmailGarrett Duffy, Enterprise Development Manager
Regional Development Centre
Tel. 042 9370400
Feb, March
& Oct
Galway Mayo Institute of TechnologyEmailTony O'Kelly, Programme Manager
Tel. 091 742858
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
in collaboration with
Institute of Technology Tallaght
EmailClaire Macnamee - Programme Manager
Phone: 01 8851502

EmailColm Ó Maolmhuire, Programme Manager
Tel. 01 4042025
Jan & JuneMay & Sept
Institute of Technology Carlow
in collaboration with
Waterford Institute of Technology
EmailAilish Delaney, Enterprise Development Manager
Enterprise & Research Incubation Centre
Tel. 059 9175208

EmailEugene Crehan, Programme Manager
ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre
Tel. 051 302953
May & SeptSept & Jan
Institute of Technology Sligo
in collaboration with
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
EmailDr. Michelle Connolly,
Enterprise Development Programme Manager

LYIT and IT Sligo
Tel. 074 91 86452 or 071 91 37378
Institute of Technology Tralee
in collaboration with
Limerick Institute of Technology

EmailAnne Looney – Marketing & Enterprise Officer
Tom Crean Business Centre
Tel. 066 7191994

EmailGraham Royce - New Frontiers Facilitator
Limerick Institute of Technology
Tel. 061 293152
Mobile: 086 8393703

EmailGillian Barry
Enterprise Development & Business Liaison Manager
Tel. 061 293152
Mobile. 086 7959269
Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre
12 MarJun

ERDF Co-funding: The New Frontiers Programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007-2013.

Ireland's EU Structural Funds Programmes 2007-2013 logoEuropean Regional Development Fund