County Waterford innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups have the opportunity to invest one night a week to road-test their business ideas.The New Frontiers programme for early stage entrepreneurs is open for applications for its 8-week programme starting in September.New Frontiers, funded by Enterprise Ireland, 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.
New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Eugene Crehan says Phase 1, which is taking applications for this September, is ideal for working people who want to investigate their start-up idea over a few months and perhaps even take it further if they are successful in getting onto Phase 2 of the programme.“The time commitment for Phase 1 is one evening per week for 8 weeks, starting from early September. As well as being a fantastic learning and development experience it is also a useful lead-in to Phase 2 of New Frontiers. On Phase 2 of New Frontiers participants spend six months getting paid to develop their business ideas; they receive €2,500 tax free a month for six months. We have individuals travelling from across the south east to participate.”
Past participants on New Frontiers at WIT from County Waterford in recent years include:
Charlotte Matabaro, Co Waterford co-founder of Mohecan, participated on Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the New Frontiers Programme in 2017 and 2018. “The key benefit for me was being in a room with the other participants who are going through all the same struggles and facing the same challenges as you are – it is a very supportive environment.”
Shana Chu, STYL.wrap participated on Phase 1 and 2 of the New Frontiers Programme in 2018/2019. The key benefit for her company was: “New Frontiers gave me a great opportunity to expand my network with key industry experts. The advice and support from these experts and from the workshop facilitators was instrumental in helping me develop my business proposition.”
In 2016 Enterprise Ireland announced increased supports of early-stage entrepreneurs over five years across the south east region with funding of €2.7m to run New Frontiers programmes in Waterford and Carlow institutes of technology. Phase 1 of the New Frontiers Programme will commence in Waterford at ArcLabs, the innovation hub based on WIT’s West Campus in September 2019 on a part-time basis, with Phase 2 commencing in December 2019.
The deadline for applications is Monday, 2 September at 4pm. Applicants apply online at www.wit.ie/newfrontiers.