Most Successful New Frontiers Programme to date for CIT's Rubicon Centre
The Rubicon Centre, Ireland's leading business innovation hub are celebrating the 19th year of delivering a full-time entrepreneurial support programme with the graduation of 14 entrepreneurs from the New Frontiers programme. The graduation marks the 5th year of the Enterprise Ireland funded New Frontiers programme which is now a national brand delivered across 14 Irish Institutes of Technology.
Since 1998, 332 businesses have participated in the full time enterprise support programmes (Genesis and New Frontiers) led by CIT, with 73% of these still operating today. These businesses employ 2,600 people across the South West region and more than half of them trading are internationally. This year's programme proved to be the most varied to date with huge diversity among the entrepreneurs in terms of business activities and sector focus. Over the past nine months, participants availed of intense training, business mentorship and access to CIT’s innovation ecosystem. Each participant received €15,000 in financial support which also significantly aided their businesses into commercial enterprises.
The overall winner of this year’s New Frontiers Programme was Paul Glavin, whose company Glavloc Build Systems (GBS) Ltd. designs and manufactures fast build systems for the construction industry. Glavin's business which has already attracted over €40,000 investment and is successfully trading, designs and manufactures high performance “Passive Standard” rapid build systems which have the ability to revolutionise the construction industry. The company prides itself on completing a job in approximately quarter of the time compared to traditional building methods, meaning an average structure built using GBS products can be completed within 6 weeks depending on the exact options and specifications required.
Sean O Tuama of Firemole Ltd. took the award for most innovative product with his patent pending electronic device to detect high temperatures to prevent fire in the home. Ayooluwa Wendy Oke, TeachKloud was presented with the award for best business plan. TeachKloud is an online compliance dashboard that helps preschool providers understand and document their compliance obligations and records by giving them the information they need, when they need it.
Three of this year's participants are currently working with Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start Up team with a further two successfully securing €50,000 investment as part of Enterprise Ireland's Competitive Start fund. Graduates have generated over €3.47million in sales, investment, grant aid and funding between them, making them the most successful group of graduates from the New Frontiers programme to date.
Speaking at the awards, Alan Hobbs, Manager of HPSU Industrial & Life Sciences Department, Enterprise Ireland said, "It is very encouraging to see a group of such high potential businesses graduate from the esteemed New Frontiers Programme. The success of the programme here at the Rubicon is astonishing and the quality of the participants seems to improve year on year which is extremely encouraging. The future of Ireland's economy is certainly promising and programmes such as New Frontiers ensures that those with strong business ideas can gain the support where needed to build and expand, and importantly create jobs in the future."
Liam Fitzgerald, New Frontiers Programme Manager at the Rubicon said “This year's graduates have been among our most successful to date, generating almost €3.5million in sales, investment and grant aid, an amazing feat. They are a truly impressive group of entrepreneurs and have set the bar high as we look to the 2017/2018 programme which we are now recruiting for
Although there are three people walking away with awards tonight we could have easily handed out half a dozen more to this high achieving group who I know we will be seeing and hearing much more from in the coming years."