New Frontiers is an Irish programme to develop entrepreneurs and accelerate new businesses with strong employment/growth potential run by Rubicon Centre.
Problem addressed:
New Frontiers is the national programme designed to develop entrepreneurs. It is delivered on behalf of Enterprise Ireland by Institutes of Technology across Ireland. The programme’s primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.

How objectives are reached:
Since its inception in 2012, New Frontiers has engaged with people whom are either wishing to start their own business or who have lost their jobs and gave them the platform to reinvent and create new start-ups.

Consisting of practical and interactive workshops, personalised one-to-one mentoring, financial support and co-working space, New Frontiers provides the supports for anyone seeking to develop their business idea into a successful start-up.

New Frontiers differs from privately-funded accelerator programmes in that it does not take equity in the startups it supports. The main focus of the programme is supporting the entrepreneur (promoter) rather than the startup itself. The goal of the programme is to help the entrepreneur take their early-stage idea from business concept to investable business.

New Frontiers @ Rubicon CIT supports 12 participants annually in the establishment of their new businesses. Over 110 participants since 2012.

Main stakeholders are: Enterprise Ireland, Rubicon Centre & Cork Institute of Technology

Resources needed

New Frontiers supports to programme firms @ Rubicon is valued at €40,000 annually. Additional, office space, dedicated programme manager, mentoring and training (incl. financial management, market research/validation, business modelling, patenting, product dev, marketing & sales) are provided.

Evidence of success

The Concrete outcomes include:
• 110 Number of start-ups since 2012 – employing 610 staff
• 73% Survival rate for programme companies
• €1,640,000 financial support from Local Enterprise Offices
• €9,600,000 in H2020 funding won by programme companies
• €1,300,000 in Competitive Start Funding (26 projects)

Difficulties encountered

Creating an open culture to integrate new entrepreneurs with the network of start-ups in Rubicon is paramount. As is finding the right role for programme entrepreneurs, as many have a fantastic business idea but are perhaps the right person technically to navigate the start-up or vice versa.

Potential for learning or transfer

One of the reasons that the New Frontiers Programme has worked so well is that each business receives personalised supports which is focused on their business, provided in a collaborative environment:

• Regional access to across 14 programmes and 16 locations.
• Open to business ideas from across all sectors
• Support valued at €30,000 including €15,000 tax-free stipend
• Further support available to the value of €10,000+
• Personalised one-to-one mentoring
• Expert advice and guidance from an experienced programme team, business practitioners, investors and other entrepreneurs within the Institutes of Technology and Universities.
• Access to R&D facilities and specialist expertise of host HEI, Cork Institute of Technology
• Practitioner-led workshops in all areas of building a business.
• Regular milestone review meetings to monitor your progress.
• Free co-working space (during Phase 2 and 3).
• Support and guidance in the development of a strong business plan.
Main institution
Enterprise Ireland
Southern and Eastern, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
September 2012
End Date


John Hobbs Please login to contact the author.