The Rubicon Centre, Ireland's leading business innovation hub has secured a lucrative five year contract from Enterprise Ireland to continue the roll out of its national entrepreneur development programme, New Frontiers. The contract which is worth €2million in direct and indirect funding and supports to entrepreneurs will see the Rubicon Centre continue in its role as being a vital base for high potential start ups in the Munster region.
Since 1998, 269 businesses have participated in the full time enterprise support programmes (Genesis and New Frontiers) led by CIT , with 75% of these still operating today. These businesses employ 2,600 people across the South West region and more than 50% of them are trading internationally. The new 5 year contract will assist over 70 start up companies and create upwards of 650 new jobs. Each participant accepted on to the full time programme receives €15,000 in financial support as well as intense training, business mentorship and access to CIT’s innovation ecosystem. The announcement was made as twelve entrepreneurs graduated from the most recent full-time New Frontiers Programme. Graduate businesses operate across the business spectrum in sectors as diverse as education, management software, food, consumer products, data security, ecommerce, and digital media.
The overall winner of this year’s New Frontiers Programme was Emmett Kearney whose company Jumble offers seamless and secure email encryption. The product offers major opportunities for industries that transmit sensitive information, allowing companies and individuals to encrypt their messages. The business was set up as a result of increasing regulation and cybercrime, with the email encryption market in the finance, healthcare and government sectors alone expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2019.
Stephen Collins of Tip Tap Tap took the award for most innovative product with his interactive school desk which allows students to interact with the learning technology already in the classroom. The desk has the ability to enhance traditional teaching, reduces manual assessment, encourages collaboration and supports multi-user interaction within the classroom. John O'Keeffe of GYMIX was presented with the award for best business plan. GYMIX offers the health and fitness industry a solution to uninspiring music and visual content by creating new workout music playlists every hour, meaning customers and staff won't have to listen to the same looped audio. The company is already working with gyms across Ireland and the UK.
Speaking at the awards and the announcement of the 5 year New Frontiers contract, Martin Corkery, Enterprise Ireland Regional Manager said, "We are delighted to continue our successful relationship with the Rubicon Centre and look forward to aiding many more new businesses to grow and create new jobs for the region. 2015 was a record year for start ups with 105 new high potential start- ups , 47% of which were outside of Dublin. The success of the programme to date is proof that the team in the Rubicon Centre are focused on the development of entrepreneurs and know what it takes to encourage and drive start up companies, taking them from ideas on a page to market."
Speaking at the event, Paul Healy, Rubicon Centre Manager said "Start ups are a powerful engine of job creation and economic growth and we are proud to be one of the main providers of entrepreneurial support since 1998. 2016 is set to be a momentous year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the physical Rubicon Centre in CIT and we are doubly thrilled to retain the contract to roll out the New Frontiers Programme for another five years. We have learned so much from the entrepreneurs we have worked with over the past 18 years and it is them that have given us the edge in knowing what it takes to build great and sustainable businesses which can compete not just on the Irish market but on the world stage. It has been proven that start ups who go through programmes such as New Frontiers have a much higher (75%) survival rate than those who choose to go it alone. This contract allows us to continue to grow and retain our position as drivers of innovation and growth for the Munster region."
President of CIT Dr Brendan Murphy, Orla Flynn, Vice President for External Affairs CIT, Martin Corkery, regional Manager Enterprise Ireland and Carol O'Leary, Industry Liaison Officer CIT at the announcement of the €2million contract with Enterprise Ireland to roll out the National Entrepreneur Enterprise programme.
Pic Darragh Kane