Phase 2 open for applications on 26th May

New Frontiers North West is now recruiting for Phase 2 of this 3-phase programme starting September 2022. New Frontiers is Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme with 14 programmes running across 16 locations nationwide.

The New Frontiers North West programme is delivered by Atlantic Technology University’s Sligo and Letterkenny campuses and provides access to a range of supports. These include co-working in a campus incubator in Sligo’s Innovation Centre or Letterkenny’s CoLab, 1-to-1 mentoring from start-up experts, business master-classes and networking with potential investors plus up to €22,500 in financial support to accelerate the business start-up.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, Atlantic University’s Sligo and Letterkenny campuses will spend almost €2m over the next five years on the New Frontiers Programme, supporting entrepreneurs to deliver 70 new companies in the North-West Region.

New Frontiers is a three-phase programme designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development supports to participants. Phase 1 aims to test the promoter and the business idea. Phase 2 focuses on the development of the promoter and the business proposition. The emphasis of Phase 3 is on the further development of the business. 

According to the Programme Manager for the region, Geraldine Beirne “New Frontiers is perfect for individuals who are early-stage entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea with export and employment potential”.

She added “New Frontiers is an integral part of the enterprise ecosystem in the North West designed to drive sustainable economic growth for the region.  Working in partnership with key stakeholders such as the Local Enterprise Offices, WDC, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Local Development Companies, we hope to foster and develop local businesses to become key drivers of employment growth in the region.”

One of the strengths of the programme is that participants have a direct link with the third-level institution where their incubation centre is based, allowing them to tap into expertise and specialisations. In Sligo, this means areas such as product development, design for manufacture, renewable energy and sustainable technologies. In Letterkenny, this means areas like digital transformation & emerging technologies, design, innovation, creativity & enterprise and life sciences, health & wellbeing. The research collaboration is complementary and invaluable for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Thirteen new start-ups have just completed Phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme in the North West. 

One of the programme participants is Conor Finn with an extensive background in sports performance including working with the Mayo Senior men’s football team. With his co-founder Barry Solan, Strength and Conditioning Coach with Arsenal, they recently set up POD1UM. The company has developed an App which will offer everyone from non-professional elite level athletes to weekend warriors, access to world class coaching across a multitude of sports. When asked what the benefits of the New Frontiers programme have been to him so far, Conor said “New Frontiers Phase has been a huge support for me personally & for POD1UM, as myself & co-founder Barry brought the startup from idea to reality. The 1:1 mentoring in particular, but also the workshops and networking opportunities have been highly beneficial in helping us navigate the early stages of our business. I would certainly recommend this programme to anyone taking the first steps in their startup.”

Another participant is Catherine Devine from Letterkenny, whose business Pumpskynz offers protective covers for diabetic devices in a range of attractive colours. Catherine said “The New Frontiers programme has come at the right time for me in my business. It is challenging me to think strategically about how to grow our customer base internationally.”

The next joint Phase 2 intake starts in September. Applications open on Thursday 26th May and close on 9th June.  Contact newfrontiersnw@itsligo.ie for more information.