IT Carlow secures €700K funding to deliver New Frontiers programme for emerging entrepreneurs


Institute of Technology Carlow today announced a new five-year partnership, with €700,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland, to deliver the New Frontiers programme for emerging entrepreneurs across the south-east region, incorporating counties Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford and Wexford.

New Frontiers is a national entrepreneur development programme delivered by institutes of technologies and universities across Ireland. It provides a comprehensive set of business development supports and mentoring to start-ups with innovative projects that have a scalable market. The ERIC Centre at IT Carlow will deliver the programme over the next five years (2021-2025), assisting start-ups across the region.

The programme will support the development of over 400 entrepreneurs, resulting in the growth of scalable businesses, and creating employment in the region. Those selected for the second phase of the programme will benefit from a support package valued at €30,000, expert one to one mentoring and business support, with no equity taken in their business.

Gemma Purcell, Enterprise Development Manager at IT Carlow commented, “We are delighted to continue supporting entrepreneurship and innovation across the south-east region through the New Frontiers programme. IT Carlow has been delivering such programme since 2007 and has already been responsible for the creation of numerous successful enterprises in the region.”

The New Frontiers programme will operated out of the ERIC centre at IT Carlow, which provides a supportive learning environment that focuses on the founder as well as the enterprise. Its central location is ideal for participants who can leverage the expertise within the wider IT Carlow campus. Many of the micro-enterprises and SMEs based at the ERIC centre are past participants from New Frontiers programme. Since 2016, the programme has supported the creation of 144 jobs and achieved €7.2M in sales, of which €3.6M were export sales.

MicroGen Biotech and Seed Golf are just two of the companies that have benefited from the New Frontiers programme at IT Carlow. MicroGen BioTech, founded by Dr Xuemai Germaine, is to the forefront in a global mission to improve food safety, security and soil sustainability and has successfully registered two of its solutions with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture while counting Europe and North America as key growth markets. Seed Golf founder Dean Klatt developed a tour-performance golf ball that, within 18 months, was named the official golf ball of the PGA EuroPro Tour with sales in 31 countries, including Australia, Russia, South Korea and the Middle East.

Speaking at the announcement, Paula Carroll, New Frontiers National Programme Manager at Enterprise Ireland said, “Enterprise Ireland is proud to continue to support and fund this critically important entrepreneurial development programme in the south-east region for the next five years. The primary objective of the New Frontiers programme is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong job creation and growth potential, and we are delighted to continue to work in partnership to deliver on this ambition”.

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