New entrepreneur programme for the North West


New Frontiers delivered by IT Sligo and LYIT

A new enterprise platform programme to be delivered jointly by IT Sligo and LYIT was officially launched at the third annual Enterprise & Innovation Week at IT Sligo this week.

The ‘New Frontiers’ programme is funded and coordinated nationally by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by Institutes of Technology that will target high-potential entrepreneurs with the commitment and capability required to develop and deliver sustainable businesses.

Delivered over 3 phases aspiring entrepreneurs who are successful in securing a place on phase 2 will receive financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus all their efforts on developing a business during this six-month period. They will also be given office space in the Innovation Centre at IT Sligo or the CoLab in LYIT, in addition to access to crucial supports and networking opportunities.

The Programme Manager nationally, Dr Lisa Keating, was at IT Sligo for the launch; “The main focus is on the individual, giving them the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs”, she said.

Commenting on the launch of the new programme, President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, said. “Fostering regional development through entrepreneurship is an important part of our mission at IT Sligo and we look forward to working with the first round of successful applicants in the New Frontiers programme. This programme is about laying the foundations and imparting the skills needed to move from business concept to reality. Along with our colleagues in LYIT, we have a significant degree of experience in this area and the results are evident throughout the North West in companies that have developed successfully with our support.”

Paul Hannigan, President at LYIT said, “This is an innovative and progressive programme aimed at offering high level expertise in specific growth sectors from both IT Sligo and LYIT and beyond to entrepreneurs. This expertise will not only test and validate ideas, but also continue to support these entrepreneurs to develop their businesses into the future.”

Upon application, successful applicants will be accepted on to the first phase of the programme where their business idea and their capabilities as a potential entrepreneur will be tested. During this part-time 8 week phase the participants will benefit from workshops on the business value proposition, market research & validation, sales training, financial management.

Following this stage, an amount of successful participants will qualify for the six month intensive element of the programme.

Companies arising from the programme may have the opportunity to benefit from Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up (HPSU) supports.

Also commenting about the launch Paschal McGuire, Enterprise Ireland North East and North West Regional Director said “The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme is for people who have an innovative idea and want to learn how to set up and run a company around it. We are looking for people who can create sustainable businesses with the potential to deliver local employment”.

The New Frontiers programme is now inviting applications before the deadline of 12 April for a programme start on 4 May. For more information contact and

Image Caption: Pictured at the official launch of the New Frontiers Programme to be delivered by IT Sligo and LYIT were; Gordon Ryan, Head of Development and Business Operations, IT Sligo; Carole Brenan, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD; Janette Gillen, Innovation Centre Manager. IT Sligo; Patsy Donaghy, CoLab Manager, LYIT; Dr Lisa Keating, New Frontiers Programme Manager; and Niall McEvoy, Head of Innovation at IT Sligo.