Wexford start-ups invited to apply for share of €1.5m funding 19/08/16 : the chronicle.ie

Wexford start-ups invited to apply for share of €1.5m funding 19/08/16

| August 19, 2016

Clodagh Davis cmyk

€1.5m in Enterprise Ireland funding has been secured for 55 early-stage entrepreneurs over the next five years in Wexford through New Frontiers programme at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Naturally Cordial Ltd from Wexford were among those who received support for the New Frontiers Programme at the ArcLabs innovation hub in Waterford which is now taking applications until 25 August 2016 from entrepreneurs and innovative business start-ups.

New Frontiers Programme Manager at Waterford Institute of Technology, Eugene Crehan explains who the programme is for. “The New Frontiers programme is designed to help people who have already passed the idea stage, and are serious about ‘concept development’. The time commitment for Phase 1 is one evening per week, starting from Tuesday, 6 September 2016. The application process is online, so people can apply easily.”

In recent years the programme has appealed to those in the medical devices and broad technology areas.

“Over the next five years we hope to support another 250 entrepreneurs on Phase 1 of our programme with about 20% making it through to the second phase and access to EI funding every year. Those who get onto Phase 2 are on the programme two days per week for six months and get funding of €15,000 each. The programme is run by the WIT School of Business from ArcLabs, the innovation hub based at WIT’s West Campus, Carriganore.”

One of the former New Frontiers participants Clodagh Davis, Naturally Cordial Ltd, Enniscorthy, embarked on the programme with her idea of producing premium cordials made from Irish soft fruit and organic citrus fruit.  She is currently selling to many quality food stores within Ireland and also to SuperValu as part of the Food Academy programme under the Naturally Cordial brand.  In 2016 she was delighted to be asked to supply four flavours of cordial to the Simply Better range owned by Dunnes Stores.

“The New Frontiers Programme was well structured to ensure we covered all areas of business and understood the importance of integrating them into a complete business plan.   It mapped out all the available support from state bodies and the business stages at which such support could be accessed.  The advice from the tutors and other participants was practical and relevant to what was going on in our businesses at that moment.  At the same time, everyone was also getting us to future plan and prepare for growth and export.   The steps I laid down then and contacts made are still driving the business forward today.”

Clodagh offers advice to entrepreneurs considering the New Frontiers Programme:    “I would say, just do it.  It is a great way to ensure you have some time to think strategically about your business with people who are going to challenge you and force you to question all your assumptions.   The aim of the course is to ensure people have viable businesses.  Not every business idea or small business is viable for the longer term and the course helps you to identify areas you need to address.  As someone said, “we either want to help you grow fast and strong, or fail fast so you waste as little time and money as possible.”

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