The founders of 12 new early stage Irish ventures are gearing up to spend the next six months working full-time on their respective business propositions at Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Rubicon Centre as part of the Enterprise Ireland-supported incubation programme New Frontiers. The aim is that each of the new ventures will be investor-ready and in a position to be commercially viable by the end of 2013.
Self-starters participating in the 2013 New Frontiers programme at CIT will be developing solutions across a range of sectors, including enterprise software, e-learning, specialist online resources, digital media and food.
The entrepreneurial participants will be provided with a range of supports to assist them in transforming their businesses into commercial enterprises that will have the potential to trade goods and services internationally.
Getting off the ground
The programme will comprise mentoring, training workshops, specialist clinics, and project review meetings. The chief aim is to reduce the lead-in time associated with developing such start-ups while also providing a level of support to the participants.
Enterprise stakeholders in the region, including Enterprise Ireland, the Cork City and County Enterprise Boards, Cork Chamber of Commerce, it@cork and CIT will be lending their mentoring support to the new ventures to help them nurture their business ideas and get going.
These supports will include access to CIT’s innovation ecosystem, a panel of trainers, advisers, access to Enterprise Ireland’s mentor programme, €15,000 of financial support, peer-to-peer networking and support from the members of the Rubicon team.
By the end of 2013, the goal is that each of New Frontiers’ participants will have advanced their business propositions to a point where they can engage directly with both national and international customers and where they can start attracting interest from the investment community.
Difficult to select the start-ups
Peter Finnegan, the New Frontiers programme manager, said the number of high-quality applications that were received made the task of selecting the 12 start-ups a difficult one.
“Such a problem was extremely encouraging, however, as it directly reflects the high numbers that are considering the entrepreneurial lifestyle at a time when entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are to the forefront of Government policy,” he said.
CIT has been giving support to entrepreneurs in the region since 1998. Companies such as Abtran, Cully and Sully, Crest Solutions, Aspiracon and Somex have all developed from the support of CIT and its enterprise support system, which includes the Rubicon Centre.
The New Frontiers programme also runs at other institutes of technology around the island of Ireland.
Start-up image via timquo/Shutterstock