New Frontiers is a three-phase programme, designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development supports to participants.
New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology (IOT) and funded and managed by Enterprise Ireland (EI). It is co-funded by the ERDF under the national Structural and Investment Funds Programmes 2014-2020. Housed at the Tom Crean Business Centre in Tralee, Kerry, its primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses which have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.

The programme is an important element of EI’s strategy in the promotion of entrepreneurship and creation of new business start-ups. New Frontiers differs from privately-funded ‘accelerator’ programmes in that its main focus is on the entrepreneur’s business concept rather than the enterprise and with progressing the business concept to investable business - consequently the programme does not take equity at this stage.

New Frontiers is a 3-phase programme:
1: Testing business idea - introduction to what is setting up business and opportunity to prepare a business plan;
2: Business planning - weekly training in key business start- up and scaling skills such as research, business models, team development, financials, legal, intellectual property, digital marketing strategy, selling and sales and pitching the business;
3: Business development - support and panel pitches to progress their business.

Resources needed

The IT Tralee and Cork IT received €3m in 2016 to run the programme for 3 years. This money is used to provide a manager for the programme, to recruit trainers (through a tendering process) to deliver the different aspects of training and mentoring for Phases 1, 2 and 3.

Evidence of success

Since the programme started in 2012, ITT and CIT have collectively supported 88 new companies who have created 169 jobs for the region. These new companies are creating sustainable businesses, jobs and economic stability in the South-west. Enterprise Ireland is working in partnership with the Institutes of Technology to give potential entrepreneurs the skills they need to successfully set up and run a company.

Difficulties encountered

Accessing market research along with development of a minimum viable product prototype; developing an international scalable business model and accepting the business - regional or national; accessing the required expertise to grow the business may be challenging.

Potential for learning or transfer

Offers a proven model of success, provides templates for each stage of the programme, access to national expertise and pool of renowned mentors for different disciplines.

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Main institution
Institute of Technology, Tralee
Border, Midland and Western, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
January 2012
End Date


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