WIT and IT Carlow win €3m to operate entrepreneur development programme

Participants in joint programme will gain skills and support to help grow their business

Gemma Purcell, New Frontiers programme manager at Institute of Technology Carlow

Gemma Purcell, New Frontiers programme manager at Institute of Technology Carlow

 

Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow have jointly won €3 million in funding to operate an entrepreneur development programme in the southeast.

The funding will support the New Frontiers programme over the next five years. It is aimed at early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas which have the potential to scale and provide employment.

The programme is co-located at the Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre (ERIC) in IT Carlow and at the ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre in Waterford Institute of Technology.

Participants will gain skills and support to help grow their business, with desk space, mentoring, business master classes and networking as part of the programme.

“New Frontiers is Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneurial development programme and by combining practical advice, mentorship, and funding, it can help reduce the risk and dramatically increase the chances of success, for aspiring start-up entrepreneurs,” said Brian Fives, senior regional development executive with Enterprise Ireland.

Eugene Crehan, New Frontiers programme manager at Waterford Institute of Technology
Eugene Crehan, New Frontiers programme manager at Waterford Institute of Technology

The two institutes are expected to work with more than 400 early-stage entrepreneurs over the five-year period, with 95 high-potential entrepreneurs receiving €15,000 each to participate.

“Having strong, innovative, regionally-based export companies is vital to balanced economic development and creating high value jobs into the future,” said New Frontiers programme manager at Waterford Institute of Technology, Eugene Crehan. “Through this partnership the South East New Frontiers programme provides a critical platform to support entrepreneurs, talent, innovation and investment in the region.”

Among previous participants in the Waterford programme are Immersive VR Education, which floated on the London and Dublin Stock Exchanges in 2018, and OmniSpirant which received €9.4 million in the Disruptive Technologies Fund 2020.

Gemma Purcell, who manages the New Frontiers programme at IT Carlow said the institute had been delivering such programmes since 2007, with numerous successful enterprises created as a result, including Microgen Biotech, which raised $5.1 million in Series A funding, and Seed Golf, which has customers in 34 countries.