WIT and IT Carlow secure €3m for New Frontiers programme

9 Jul 2021

Gemma Purcell, the New Frontiers programme manager at IT Carlow. Image: WIT

The two ITs, which are merging to create a technological university, will run the entrepreneur programme in the south-east for five years.

Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow will operate the New Frontiers programme for the south-east with €3m in funding.

The funding from Enterprise Ireland will be used to run the programme in the region for start-ups with potential for scaling.

New Frontiers operates in several regions around the country to provide early support to young start-ups trying to get off the ground.

Running over five years, the programme will work with more than 400 early-stage entrepreneurs with 95 of those receiving payments of €15,000.

It will operate out of WIT’s ArcLabs and IT Carlow’s ERIC incubation hub where desk space, mentoring and networking opportunities are provided.

“IT Carlow has been delivering such programmes since 2007 and has already been responsible for the creation of numerous successful enterprises in the region such as MicroGen Biotech and Seed Golf, both international success stories,” Gemma Purcell, the New Frontiers programme manager at IT Carlow, said.

MicroGen Biotech recently raised $5.1m in a Series A round while Seed Golf is currently raising €1m from investors and through crowdfunding.

Previous participants in New Frontiers in Waterford include VR Education, which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Dublin.

“The New Frontiers programme is designed to help ambitious individuals bring their business idea from concept to successful start-up,” Eugene Crehan, New Frontiers programme manager at WIT, added.

“Having strong, innovative, regionally based export companies is vital to balanced economic development and creating high value jobs into the future. Through this partnership the south-east New Frontiers programme provides a critical platform to support entrepreneurs, talent, innovation and investment in the region.”

WIT and IT Carlow are currently merging to create Ireland’s next technological university (TU).

Ireland’s first technological university was announced in Dublin in 2018 and launched the following year, bringing together Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown to become TU Dublin.

The second technological university brought together Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee. Munster Technology University received technological university status in May of last year and was inaugurated at the beginning of 2021.

Plans for Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology to come together as a new TU for the midlands have also been approved.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin