The Innovation Centre at IT Sligo, in partnership with the CoLab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), has agreed a five-year contract with Enterprise Ireland to continue the roll out of its national entrepreneur development programme, New Frontiers.
This is the largest programme of its kind to be delivered in the North West.
Funded by Enterprise Ireland, it equips new start-ups with the relevant skills to establish and run a successful and sustainable company.
The programme is delivered in three phases and provides access to a range of business environments and support services; advice and access to finance as well as extensive networking opportunities.
New start-ups also get the opportunity to nurture and grow their business from the diverse and agile environment of the Innovation Centre at IT Sligo or the CoLab at LYIT. This year, and for the first time, the programme will also have a physical presence at The Hive (Leitrim’s Technology Enterprise Centre) in Carrick-on-Shannon.
“On the international stage, New Frontiers is an Irish example of best practice,” says Niall McEvoy, Head of Innovation at IT Sligo.
“The theme of the programme is one of a can-do approach, encouraging entrepreneurship and collaboration in a positive sales and market focused environment.”
Key factors for start-up success have been internationally benchmarked and the programme provides these such as finance (Phase 2 – €15,000 in financial support), a mentoring programme with a seasoned entrepreneur, support from a dedicated programme manager and an extensive network of investors and established business experts.
New Frontiers is open to a wide range of business sectors with past entrepreneurs coming from areas such as food, consumer products, internationally-traded services, engineering, clean-technologies, financial and enterprise software.
The Programme manager is Dr Michelle Connolly. “Since 2012 we have worked with over 200 start-ups, bringing 50 to investor-ready/market-ready positions. Part of our vision over the next five years is to create a broader reach into communities in the North West,” she says.
The Innovation Centre at IT Sligo was among the first Institutes of Technology to develop an Enterprise Platform Programme in the 1990s. Today, it is one of 14 locations around the country where the New Frontiers programme is being delivered.
For more information on the opportunities open to you, visit www.newfrontiersnw.ie.