Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation, will launch a new entrepreneur recruitment campaign today.


What is the “New Frontiers” Programme?

The programme is aimed at giving individuals the skills needed to run successful companies, which it is hoped will generate employment.

How do I Apply?

Interested applicants should contact their nearest participating Institute of Technology directly using these contact details .

The “New Frontiers” programme is a six month intensive course, which will focus on giving individuals the entrepreneurial skills needed to set up and run a business.

‘New Frontiers’, Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme.  New Frontiers is a national programme funded and coordinated by Enterprise Ireland and will be delivered locally by 13 Irish Institutes of Technology. Up to 250 entrepreneurs will receive financial support of €15,000, training and office space, from Enterprise Ireland as they focus all their efforts on developing a business during this six-month period.

The course – which was outlined in the Government’s “Action Plan for Jobs” – will be rolled out in 13 Institutes of technology and is being funded by Enterprise Ireland. “The New Frontiers Programme forms part of one of the action points set out in the Government’s recently announced ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ and will have the potential to deliver up to 100 new companies per annum” Sherlock said.

How many places are there in the “New Frontiers” Programme?

 250 applicants will be accepted on to the first phase of the programme and their business ideas and capabililities as a potential entrepreneur will be assessed and tested.


Of those candidates 150 will qualify for a six-month core element of the course where they will be equipped with the key skills needed to run a successful company.


Participants will receive €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus their efforts on developing a sustainable business.

This national programme is co-ordinated by Enterprise Ireland which is providing €4.25m in funding to enable the Institutes of Technology to deliver the programme at a local level. The core element of New Frontiers is a six-month intensive programme which will focus on developing the person’s entrepreneurial abilities, equipping them with the skills they need to run, and crucially to develop, sustainable businesses.

The New Frontiers programme will target high-potential entrepreneurs with the commitment and capability required to develop and deliver sustainable businesses.  “It is expected that the programme will produce a pipeline of companies eligible for Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up (HPSU) supports.”

Nationally 250 applicants will be accepted on to the first phase of the programme where their business idea and their capabilities as a potential entrepreneur will be tested. During this part-time 8 week phase the participants will benefit from workshops on the business value proposition, market research & validation, sales training, financial management.

Of those 250 applicants, 150 will qualify for the six month intensive core element of the programme which will focus on developing the person as an entrepreneur. “They will be equipped with the practical skills they need to run a business and challenged to realise their business goals.”

Participants will receive financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus all their efforts on developing a business during this six-month period. They will also be given office space in the Institute of Technology’s incubation centre, mentoring and access to networking opportunities with potential investors.

Also speaking at the launch, Martin Lyes, Manager of Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said “The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme is for people who have an innovative idea and want to learn how to set up and run a company around it. We are looking for people who can create sustainable businesses with the potential to deliver local employment.”

Information on the participating Institutes of Technology is available at 

New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology. If you have an innovative business idea and are planning to establish and run your own company the New Frontiers Enterpreneur Development Programme can provide you with a package of supports to help accelerate your business development and to equip you with the skills and contacts that you need to successfully start and grow your company.

What does New Frontiers provide Entrepreneurs?

  • Training in all areas of business including financial management, market research & validation, business process, patenting, product development, sales training.
  • Mentoring from experienced business advisers and practitioners.
  • Office and other business incubation facilities.
  • €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland for individuals participating in Phase 2 (Income tax liability will be the sole responsibility of the participant, and individuals are encouraged to seek professional advice).
  • Networking with other entrepreneurs and business development agencies.
  • Introductions to seed and early stage capital investment networks.
  • Access to entrepreneurship best practice, both national and international.
  • Peer-group learning from participants in the region and across the country.
  • Access to the expertise in Enterprise Ireland through our market information centre.
  • Expertise from the Institutes of Technology and the supportive environment of their business incubation centres.

Launched in February 2012 the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme aims to support the creation of 100 high value, knowledge based, Irish owned businesses, each year.


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 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.

Programme Detail

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 -Testing the business idea

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.

Phase 2 – Business Planning

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.

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. To facilitate this, you will receive up to €15,000 in funding subject to satisfactory development reviews (Income tax liability will be the sole responsibility of the participant, and individuals are encouraged to seek professional advice on this).

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

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.


How do I apply?

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.

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


Key contacts/more information


Dublin Institute of Technology

Bernadette O’Reilly – Incubation Manager

Hothouse Innovation Centre        


Phone: 01 240 1309


Institute of Technology Tallaght

Nick Mernagh – Programme Manager


Phone: 01 4042221



Institute of Technology Blanchardstown

The LINC centre

Claire Mac Namee – Enterprise Manager


Phone: 01 8851502




Athlone Institute of Technology

Michael Lonergan
Midlands Innovation & Research Centre
Phone: 090-6471882


Cork Institute of Technology

Peter Finnegan – Case Manager
Rubicon Centre
Phone: 021 4928916


Dundalk Institute of Technology

Garrett Duffy – Enterprise Development Manager

Regional Development Centre


Phone: 042 9370400



Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Tony O’Kelly – Programme Manager


Phone: 091 742858



In collaboration with:

Institute of Technology Carlow

Brian Ogilvie – Programme Manager

Enterprise & Research Incubation Centre


Phone: 059 9175220


In collaboration with:

Waterford Institute of Technology

Eugene Crehan – Programme Manager

ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre


Phone: 051 302953


Institute of Technology Sligo

Janette Gillen – Incubation Centre Manager

Innovation Centre


Phone: 071 91 55315


In collaboration with:

Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Patsy Donaghy – Incubation Centre Manager



Phone: 074 9186703


Institute of Technology Tralee

Dr Joseph Walsh – External Services Manager

Tom Crean Centre


Phone: 066 7144215


In collaboration with:

Limerick Institute of Technology

Gillian Barry – Enterprise Development & Business Liaison Manager

Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre


Phone: 086 7959269