John Curry is taking his business Smart X Assistant to the next level with help from South East Technological University’s New Frontiers Programme.

John, who took part in Phase 2 of the New Frontiers Programme at SETU Waterford in 2022, is currently at MVP stage with his product Smart X Assistant.

Smart X Assistant takes away the jobs that professionals hate to do, from time consuming document checking into decision support data. The company’s first intelligent product ‘Smart Broker Assistant’ is especially designed for mortgage brokers. The product removes the friction around documentation, freeing brokers to focus on the analysis and decision-making. 

During his time on phase 2 of the New Frontiers programme, the company achieved concept validation of their first solution, Smart Broker Assistant’, through successful demonstration of a mock product to five Irish brokerages. 

Speaking about his plans for development, John says “We plan to expand testing to four more customers in Q2 and take on commercial customers in Q3, realising our first revenues in our beach-head market. In parallel, we are developing our go to market strategy for expanding territorially into the UK, USA and Singapore as well as into new verticals within financial services such as instrument trading.”

New Frontiers was key in helping him develop the kind of agile mindset and framework required for rapid product deployment into these competitive, high-tech markets.

John says “The New Frontiers programme has been an invaluable stepping stone towards our successful business and product launch.

“The commercialisation content of New Frontiers and advice was key in forming our go-to-market strategy. We successfully received Enterprise Ireland Pre-Seed Start Funding in December 2022 based on our customer acquisition and gaining further investment at seed stage, planned for Q4.”

John explains why he chose to apply for Phase 2 of the New Frontiers Programme at SETU in Waterford. “I heard about New Frontiers through our LEO in Wexford.   The application process was very straight forward and quick. We applied because we recognised that New Frontiers could be a key support in transitioning form the concept stage into creating a viable, high-tech export business.”

John says that the most useful element of the programme was the focus on lean or agile product development.  “The necessity to quickly validate the business idea, even if the product was not finished, was drummed into us.  Although, I have been an AI consultant for many years providing services, it was this emphasis on product thinking that has really made the difference to us and got us off the starting blocks.

“Working alongside my peers on New Frontiers really gave me a front-row seat into the trials and tribulations of product start-up.  We learned a huge amount from each other that probably couldn’t be learned simply through study such as when to trust your own judgement, when to pivot, and how to remain open to advice even while you single-mindedly pursue the opportunity.”

New Frontiers is for potential entrepreneurs who have a well thought out innovative business idea or an innovative technology that has the potential to be developed into a scalable high potential start-up company. Applicants should have enthusiasm, confidence and single-mindedness about setting up and running your own business and should be committed to spending time on researching the market potential and launching a new business. 

This intensive training and support programme provides desk space, mentoring, business master classes, networking plus funding up to €22,500 in financial support “subject to terms and conditions” to accelerate business start-ups across the south east region.

We are currently recruiting for Phase 1 of New Frontiers commencing on 18 April 2023. More information on