IADT and NovaUCD kick off New Frontiers programme for Dublin

22 Mar 2022

From left: Cormac Finn of Sideteams, Lisa Geoghan of Sonalife, TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, Fiona Kiernan of Zeumed, and Conor Duggan of TaxZap at IADT. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

A total of 13 entrepreneurs in the south Dublin area will attend the six-month New Frontiers course to scale their business ideas.

The Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dún Laoghaire and NovaUCD have today (22 March) welcomed the first cohort of ambitious entrepreneurs to their New Frontiers entrepreneur programme in south Dublin.

Backed by Enterprise Ireland, the New Frontiers programme involves €1.6m in funding over the next five years to support up to 265 entrepreneurs in the greater south Dublin area including Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and North Wicklow.

New Frontiers provides support and resources, as well as funding from Enterprise Ireland, to budding entrepreneurs that are getting their businesses off the ground. It is operated from institutions across Ireland.

A total of 13 participants have been selected out of a pool of 56 applicants for the first IADT and NovaUCD programme. Participants have early-stage business ideas in sectors ranging from fintech, medtech and digital media to healthcare, food and software for public good.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD for the Dún Laoghaire constituency, launched the New Frontiers programme at IADT today and called it “critically important” to the entrepreneurship scene in the area.

“One of the striking elements of this intake is the diversity of sectors they are working on, from healthy eating to software to promoting diversity and inclusion,” she said.

Each participant will receive a €15,000 scholarship to cover full-time expenses of the six-month course as they aim to make their business idea a reality. The programme will be hosted at the IADT Media Cube building and in NovaUCD, the centre for entrepreneurs at University College Dublin.

Orla Reynolds, who is leading the programme at IADT, said that the New Frontiers team and mentors are “exceptional if you want to take the leap and focus on creating a successful business”.

“The energy and camaraderie amongst your fellow participants fuel your drive as they understand the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. I can’t wait to support our 13 participants on their journey,” she added.

Fiona Kiernan is one of the entrepreneurs taking part with her digital health start-up Zeumed. “The programme will provide a challenging yet supportive environment for me to develop and hone the business skills that are necessary to lead our team as we move into European markets,” she said.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic