DIT Hothouse opens next New Frontiers programme for aspiring entrepreneurs

4 Sep 2012

DIT Hothouse, the innovation and technology transfer centre at Dublin Institute of Technology, is now accepting applications from people with business ideas for its upcoming New Frontiers programme that is starting in October.

DIT Hothouse will be accepting applications from those with business ideas for New Frontiers until 14 September next. The programme itself is part of a national programme of entrepreneur development that has been funded by Enterprise Ireland and it is run by certain institutes of technology.

The first New Frontiers programme at DIT Hothouse ran earlier this year, according to programme manager Eoin Costello. He said that New Frontiers is broken down into three phases.

“Phase one is really about examining the business opportunity idea. It runs for around six weeks to two months and we configure it around people’s working lives,” he explained.

The 20 people who qualify for places on New Frontiers will then get workshops on areas such as strategy, finance and market research, while they also get one-to-one clinics.

So what type of nascent entrepreneurs should apply for New Frontiers?

Costello said that people must ideally have knowledge-intensive technology business ideas with the potential to succeed in international markets down the line.
As for phase two of New Frontiers, he said there’s quite a bit of competition to get onto this stage of the programme.

“We would have panel interviews. We examine the innovativeness of the potential business opportunity as well as the potential to scale and provide jobs, plus the international expansion potential.”

Costello said that 20 applicants make it onto phase two of the programme, with people getting a €2,500 scholarship from Enterprise Ireland per month for six months.

“That means you can leave your full-time employment and concentrate fully on pursuing the opportunity.”

Incubation space

During this phase of New Frontiers, people also get free incubation space.

After this six-month stage, he said there are another set of panel interviews to single out those businesses that have high-potential start-up (HPSU) potential and those that would be suited to working with the enterprise boards to build their business towards HPSU status.

“It depends on the trajectory of the business. And in phase three we will also introduce businesses to potential investors,” added Costello.

For more details about the programme, click here.

Business idea image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic