Mid-west entrepreneurs can apply for a €45,000 innovation package

5 Aug 2020

Participants of the 2019/2020 New Frontiers programme at the Hartnett Centre in LIT. Image: LIT

The New Frontiers programme takes place across six months, offering successful applicants practical advice, mentorship and Amazon web hosting, among other benefits.

Limerick Institute of Technology’s (LIT) Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre and Enterprise Ireland are currently taking applications for their development programme and support package worth €45,000. The New Frontiers programme is open to entrepreneurs in the mid-west, offering practical support and development of key innovation skills. It first launched in 2012 and since then has supported around 100 ventures.

Over six months, the programme offers a support package that includes a €15,000 tax-free stipend. Participants will receive guidance on developing their own business plan, workshops for building successful start-ups, one-to-one mentoring slots with individuals from the Enterprise Ireland mentor panel, access to free co-working and incubation spaces and web hosting and support from Amazon worth $15,000 (€12,000).

Successful applicants will also get “unrivalled access to a network of mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, alumni, investors and corporate partners”, including LIT’s international partners through the Regional University Network – European Union.

To date, the New Frontiers programme has helped generate more than 300 direct jobs, with two of its successful companies creating an estimated 500 part-time roles.

Time to ‘innovate, invent and gain momentum’

Dr Liam Brown, vice-president of research, development and innovation at LIT, said that the New Frontiers programme helps participants develop core entrepreneur skills and an innovator’s toolkit, ultimately “opening global networks for promising entrepreneurs who have ideas with international potential”.

Gillian Barry, head of innovation and enterprise at LIT, said: “In times of crisis we often see immense advances in innovation.

“During WW2, we saw the first computer developed, the aftermath of the last financial crisis, we saw a huge leap in fintech and now in this current global crisis, we are seeing an increase in innovation and entrepreneurship across just about every sector including health, manufacturing, transport, tourism, privacy, education and entertainment underpinned by advancement in science and technology.

“Opportunities that businesses might have expected to have years to prepare for are here now. To meet these challenges, entrepreneurs will need to innovate, invent and gain momentum faster than ever.”

The New Frontiers programme manager, Mary Casey, said: “We are living in an unprecedented time, New Frontiers will help entrepreneurs gain the momentum they need as we head into a fast-changing future.”

The closing date for applications is 12 August 2020. Learn more about applying here.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021