Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) have jointly secured €3m from Enterprise Ireland to operate the New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme in the south east over the next five years.

The New Frontiers programme is for potential entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea or an innovative technology that has the potential to be developed into a scalable, high-potential start-up company.

The Enterprise Ireland funding will allow the two institutes – which are working together to create a technological university for the south east – to work with over 400 early-stage entrepreneurs over the five-year funding period, with 95 of the high-potential entrepreneurs receiving a payment of €15,000 each to participate in New Frontiers. The programme, to be delivered at the ArcLabs innovation hub in Waterford and the ERIC incubation hub in Carlow, is now taking applications from entrepreneurs and innovative business start-ups. This intensive training and support programme also includes desk space, mentoring, business master classes and networking.

Commenting on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, Brian Fives Senior Regional Development Executive said “Enterprise Ireland is proud to offer such a critically important-programme like New Frontiers which will be delivered by IT Carlow and WIT. New Frontiers is Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneurial development programme and by combining practical advice, mentorship, and funding, it can help reduce the risk and dramatically increase the chances of success, for aspiring start-up entrepreneurs. We are delighted to announce the approval of €3m in funding for IT Carlow and Waterford IT to deliver this programme over the next five years.”

New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford Institute of Technology, Eugene Crehan explains who the programme is for. “The New Frontiers programme is designed to help ambitious individuals bring their business idea from concept to successful start-up. Recent participants have gone on to attract significant funding after New Frontiers: Immersive VR Education raised €6.7m on the London and Dublin Stock Exchanges in 2018 and recently closed a €9m funding round, while OmniSpirant Ltd received €9.4M in the Disruptive Technologies Fund 2020. Having strong, innovative, regionally-based export companies is vital to balanced economic development and creating high value jobs into the future. Through this partnership The South East New Frontiers Programme provides a critical platform to support entrepreneurs, talent, innovation and investment in the region.”

Gemma Purcell, the New Frontiers Programme Manager at Institute of Technology Carlow said: “We are delighted to continue supporting entrepreneurship and innovation across the south-east region through the New Frontiers programme. IT Carlow has been delivering such programme since 2007 and has already been responsible for the creation of numerous successful enterprises in the region such as MicroGen Biotech and Seed Golf, both international sucess stories. Microgen Biotech raised $5.1 m in Series A funding and has been selected as a finalist of the 2021 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year competition. Seed Golf has customers in 34 countries and is currently raising €1 million through crowdfunding and direct investment.”