A RECORD number of entrepreneurs are setting up businesses with export potential in the Cork and Kerry region through the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme for early-stage entrepreneurs.
This autumn 26x company founders are participating in the six-month programme during which they will be provided with expert mentoring and training, cash funding (with no equity taken) and the resources of the incubators at the Rubicon Centre, Tom Crean Business Centre and the Technology Gateways at MTU.
Starting and growing a company has always been challenging, but today, more than ever, it is harder for new businesses to raise capital and expand swiftly as the working world navigates widespread inflation and economic instability.
For the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest figures from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net, there was a 16 per cent year-on-year decline in the number of start-ups recorded in Ireland with the growing cost-of-living crisis stirring further uncertainty for businesses post-pandemic. On the positive side, the figures show that the number of dissolved companies decreased by 21 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme provides an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs at a start-up stage to be plugged into an ecosystem that is agile and used to help entrepreneurs to provide solutions to worldwide challenges.
The 26 entrepreneurs participating in this year’s programme are following in the footsteps of over five hundred entrepreneurs who have used MTU to successfully launch their businesses over the past decade.
The innovative business ideas that were chosen this year span a range of industries from cutting-edge technology to food and healthcare.
Commenting on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, Paula Carroll, New Frontiers National Programme Manager said: “Enterprise Ireland is proud to continue to support and fund this critically-important entrepreneurial development programme delivered by MTU in Cork and Kerry.”
Of particular note in this year’s Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers cohort of entrepreneurs are the eleven women founders, the highest number of women participants since the programme’s inception in the region over a decade ago. Gender equality is the fifth of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers team are excited to see such a high representation of women founders this year, as well as a substantial increase on the numbers of start-ups focusing on advancing the UN’s SDG’s.
The Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers start-ups this year that are focusing on advancing the UN SDG’s include Cork companies, BladeBridge (Cork), the brainchild of Dr Angela Nagle, which has found a market for unwanted wind turbine blades from wind farms by using the blades in place of steel structural parts to construct pedestrian bridges and other structural developments, and HaPPE Earth (Cork), founded by Dr Mary O’Riordan, which is championing sustainability and the circular economy by developing single-use aprons which disappear without any toxic residue in approximately five weeks, an innovation for the health-care system.
Also in the Cork region, Michael Keane (Cork) is providing sustainable transport vehicle solutions for organisations that operate fleet and speciality vehicles that will reduce operations costs and cut carbon emissions, while David Andrews of Lughcent Technologies (Cork) has developed a novel sustainable method for pasteurising liquids such as milk, cider, beer and wine, and Doctrine Skincare (Cork), founded by Mark O’Sullivan, has developed a unique skincare range by blending key trend ingredients with sustainable packaging and biotech ingredients.
If you have an innovative business idea and are interested in participating in the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers 2023 programme next year, further information is available at www.rubiconcentre.ie and https://creancentre.com/.
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