New Frontiers is incredibly helpful for early stage entrepreneurs in Ireland and often, a life-changing experience.
What is New Frontiers?
New Frontiers comprises of 3 phases:
This is a part-time programme which lasts six weeks and allows participants to explore their idea more meticulously than they otherwise would have.
This is a six-month programme which enables entrepreneurs to work on their idea full-time for six months including:
– a €15,000 tax-free stipend, paid monthly over six months
– access to office space
– mentorship from the Enterprise Ireland network and other specialists
This provides additional supports for companies who are doing well after the six month phase 2 programme.
The main benefits I experienced
The main benefits that I experienced from participating in New Frontiers included:
Throughout the six month Phase 2 programme, you’ll have to set short-term and long-term goals.
Your programme co-ordinator will then hold you accountable to these goals.
It’s quite a big adjustment going from full-time employment to working totally for yourself. Having a temporary pseudo boss for six months can be a great way to learn to self report and learn to continually ask yourself the hard questions.
Having people around you
For the six months of Phase 2, you are surrounded by 13 – 14 other people who are working toward a common goal.
You’ll learn from their mistakes and successes.
When one person in the group raises investment, everyone else will believe they can do it too. When another person makes a sale, you’ll want to start selling too. And so on.
Running a marathon is made easier by the fact that you’re surrounded by other people doing the same thing (I have heard).
No matter how motivated, passionate and committed you are, you need to pay your bills.
Receiving €2,500 into your bank account every month for six months will buy you crucial time to grow your business.
What happens after the six months?
It’s now 16 months since I finished New Frontiers.
Of the 13 or so people that I did the course with, to the best of my knowledge:
– 6 raised follow-on investment
– 5 run businesses in a more bootstrapped fashion
For those of you interested in raising investment, these are the common routes after New Frontiers:
– Competitive Start Fund
– Bolton Trust Angel Fund
By no means is New Frontiers an obligatory step for new business in Ireland, but it certainly can be a huge help to early stage entrepreneurs.
If you’re interested, here is a list of upcoming New Frontiers programmes in Ireland.
If you don’t have an idea for a business yet, check out some ways that people come up with business ideas.
As always, thank you for reading 🙂