AIT Encourages Entrepreneurs with an Innovative Business Idea to Apply for New Frontiers Programme

AIT has just launched its New Frontiers programme for 2017 and is calling all entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea to apply for New Frontiers 2017 commencing in July (Phase 1) and September (Phase 2). Athlone Institute of Technology, in partnership with Maynooth University, will deliver the programme in the Midlands Mid-East region.

According to Nick Allen, New Frontiers Programme Manager, “If you are an ambitious and committed entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, New Frontiers will provide you with the skills and supports necessary to transform your idea into a successful business and help you attract the necessary investment funds to progress and grow.”

A series of pre-programme Phase 1 Workshops to help prospective entrepreneurs to develop their business proposition will be held in the Midlands Innovation and Research Centre at AIT and MaynoothWorks at Maynooth University in July and August. Applications are being accepted now.

New Frontiers is an Enterprise Ireland funded programme that provides entrepreneurs with the skills, networks, facilities and supports necessary to navigate the business start-up process. Participants on Phase 2 receive up to €15,000 in salary over six months from Enterprise Ireland.Applicants for the programme should have an innovative business idea with growth and export potential.

Case Study

New Frontiers helps new start-up Durrow Mills get going

Recent New Frontiers participant Lisa Larkin was always interested in nutrition and clean eating so when digestive issues arose in her family, she decided to investigate healthier alternatives to traditional bread. She came across sprouted grains, which are healthier because the sprouting returns the whole grain to a plant state, breaking down inherent toxins, and allowing the body to digest it more easily.

As sprouted flour was only available to buy from the USA, Lisa decided to make the flour herself. It took her 18 months to perfect the recipe and in March 2016, she launched Durrow Mills, becoming the only person in Ireland to produce sprouted flour. Lisa sprouts the grains and then mills it herself using a unique milling process which has been designed especially for that purpose by her husband Tom who designs food production systems.

She produces two types of flour: fine-milled multi-purpose flour, and coarse-milled bread flour - both certified organic. Durrow Mills flours and products, including breads and homemade bakes, are now for sale at markets and shops and Lisa has plans to export and introduce new products, including crackers, cereals and breads.

Getting a new business off the ground has its challenges and Lisa credits the New Frontiers programme for helping her drive the business forward. Durrow Mills was recently awarded €50k Competitive Start Funding (CSF) by Enterprise Ireland. Lisa says, “The New Frontiers programme has really helped Durrow Mills enormously. I could not have achieved my fundraising goal without the programme’s help and it is great to have their continued support as we enter a new exciting phase of growth.”

Entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea can now apply for New Frontiers 2017 commencing in July (Phase 1) and September (Phase 2). Athlone Institute of Technology, in partnership with Maynooth University, will deliver the programme in the Midlands Mid-East region.

For more information, please contact Nick Allen at 090-6483043 or see www.ait.ie/newfrontiers or email nallen@ait.ie

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