14 new entrepreneurs target global markets

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 Press Office
Press Release

New Frontiers Programme in Castlebar and Galway

GMIT and Enterprise Ireland West Region are fast tracking the development of fourteen early stage innovative business start ups at the GMIT Innovation in Business Centres in Castlebar and Galway. This new group of entrepreneurs will be participating on Phase 2 of Enterprise Ireland's New Frontiers Programme launched in GMIT Galway by the President of GMIT, Mr Michael Carmody. Each of the entrepreneurs will be developing innovative products or services for customers in global markets. A range of valuable supports is being provided to each entrepreneur.

132 business start-up proposals in the West Region were submitted to the New Frontiers programme with 62 projects selected onto Phase 1 of the programme. Phase 1 was part-time and ran over six weeks in Galway and Mayo Innovation Centres during evenings and weekends. Twenty-nine projects were called to interview for Phase 2 and after a very competitive selection process fourteen entrepreneurs were awarded places. Phase 2 is a six month full time programme.

Entrepreneurs participating on the New Frontiers Programme will be developing innovative solutions for global customers in areas such as mobile marketing, social media marketing, mobile gaming, company compliance management, customer service, digital signage, sports competitions, and freight vehicle modelling during Phase 2 of the Programme.

New Frontiers is Ireland's National Entrepreneur Development Programme and is delivered in the West Region by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The Innovation in Business Centres at GMIT Castlebar and Galway provide incubation facilities and a supportive environment to potential entrepreneurs to assist them in taking their ideas from concept to full commercialisation. The IiBCs enable companies to work in a secure, innovative, entrepreneurial environment as they progress through the various stages of a new company start-up. A range of business development supports are available for client companies such as financial, legal, sales, marketing and export development including mentoring and networking facilities.

Barry Egan, Enterprise Ireland Director - West Region commented "Reaction to the New Frontiers Programme confirms that entrepreneurship in the West of Ireland is alive and well. Today 14 entrepreneurs begin the next phase of their development as they set about developing, fine tuning and scaling up their business idea. Ambitious entrepreneurs such as these are the wealth creators that will create the new companies that will deliver the new sales, exports and jobs that Ireland so badly needs right now. Business confidence in the West received another important boost today".

IiBC Castlebar Manager, Maria Staunton says "Even though there is a lot of doom and gloom around, the innovation centres at GMIT have received lots of good ideas for the New Frontiers programme. These start-up businesses have the potential to be the driving force for the Irish economy and although the current economic environment is difficult there are good opportunities available such as this New Frontiers Programme".

IIBC Manager, George McCourt believes "Enterprise Ireland's New Frontiers Programme provides critical funding and supports to entrepreneurs to develop their business concept. We are looking forward to working with each of the participants to navigate this start-up journey."

The New Frontiers Programme has been developed and funded by Enterprise Ireland and aims to support the creation of 100 high value, knowledge based, Irish owned businesses, each year. Participants will receive €15,000 in funding plus access to business development modules, workshops, mentoring and incubation space to develop their new business concepts into companies that have potential to create employment, growth and exports. The programme is managed on behalf of Enterprise Ireland by the Innovation in Business Centres (IiBC) at GMIT Galway and Castlebar and aims to develop the next generation of High Potential Start-up companies in the region.

Over the last 5 years GMIT Innovation in Business Centres has supported the following:

170+ jobs created
€45,500,000 funding raised by client companies
14 HPSU (high potential start-up) companies created
23 successful client companies graduated from the Innovation Centres