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The six-month New Frontiers full-time programme, which helps people transition from employment to entrepreneurship, starts in December 2023. This is the final call for those in the south east with a start-up idea to apply.

New Frontiers at South East Technological University (SETU) is ideal for early-stage entrepreneurs, who have an innovative business idea or technology that has the potential to be developed into a high-growth start-up company. Those selected will receive financial support of up to €22,500 while taking part in the programme, enabling them to give their start-up the attention it deserves.

New Frontiers offers a supportive, yet challenging, environment to help entrepreneurs plan and launch their new business. SETU Waterford’s New Frontiers programme, which is funded by Enterprise Ireland, is based at the ArcLabs Innovation Hub at SETU West Campus in Carriganore, Waterford.

“Become your own boss.” That’s the clear message from New Frontiers programme manager at SETU, Dr Eugene Crehan, who says, “This programme has saved past participants from making wrong financial decisions with their business, as well as giving them the tools to take their idea or start-up to the next level.

Fostering a wealth of innovation 

“From artificial intelligence to 3D printing, we saw in 2022 that the pandemic had inspired a wealth of innovation for businesses and society and new ways of doing things. I expect this year to be no different.” 

Phase 2 of the programme has proved to be highly impactful in helping to reduce a fledgling start-up’s risks while dramatically increasing its chances of success. Eugene explains, “In a review of SETU Waterford’s New Frontiers programme for the five-year period 2016 to 2021, the 48 participants of Phase 2 created 88 jobs in the region and have generated annual sales of over €4m.

“Between them they have secured €19.8m in follow-up funding and supports, €2.5m from private investors, €6.7m from an IPO and approximately another €10m in other state supports through Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices, the NDRC and the European Space Agency (Irl).”

Some notable former participants of the Waterford programme include the CEOs of Engage XR (the first New Frontiers startup to become publicly listed), Taoglas, NearForm, Stitcher Ads (Kargo), Sonru (Modern Hire), Scurri, Open Back, Powerscourt Distillery, CMC Hygea, MotoKlik, PlantQuest, Tailr, and Flexiwage.

The deadline for applications for Phase 2 New Frontiers is 24 November 2023 – apply online here. The time commitment for Phase 2 is six months, starting from 11 December 2023.