Want to develop your own business, and become one of Ireland’s New Start-ups?? In 2013…

With 1:8 people now thinking of developing their own business, you might be a person who wants to do something about it. Then there may have never been abetter time to develop your business idea from a dream to reality.

Cork is fortunate to have an infrastructure in place to support budding Entrepreneurs who want to make these dreams happen. One of the supports is the New Frontiers Programme supported by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the Rubicon Centre, home to over 60 Entrepreneurs who have already taken their ideas to market.

Cork Based Companies such as Cully& Sully, Abtran, Crest Solutions, Treemetrics, E Pub Direct and MpStor have all used this programme as a stepping stone into the market place.

This year Entrepreneurs will receive a package of supports to make this happen, including €15,000 seed capital, an experienced mentor and a place in the Rubicon Centre. In addition, Training, Access to an Experienced Team of people to help you on your journey, and very important, the support of other Entrepreneurs, makes it a difficult opportunity to turn down.

Like preparing to run a Marathon, Entrepreneurs need to follow a training schedule, with a diet to support that challenge. The training schedule is broken into three Phases, with milestones at each point. Seed Capital of €15,000 pays for the diet to prepare for this challenge.

Like the Marathon, it’s not for everyone, and this year the New Frontiers Programme supported by Enterprise Ireland is looking for Entrepreneur’s whose ideas are innovative, product or service, and has the potential to export. The Drive and Ambition to do this must be in place.

So what are the three Phases to this Programme?

If you are passionate about your business idea and believe it has the latent potential to succeed where other business fail you should consider applying for Phase 1 of the Programme

Phase 1: Testing the Business Idea

A part-time Programme run two evenings a week over a six week period provides selected participants with the tools required to critically analyse the feasibility of their business proposition and validate the market potential of the idea.
Participants that complete the Programme are invited to apply for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Planning the Business

Phase 2 is a full-time, six month rapid incubation programme. This Phase offers the following:

• Tax-free sum of €15,000 paid over a six month period
• Training in all areas of business including financial management, market research & validation, business process, patenting, product development, sales training.
• Mentoring from experienced business advisers and practitioners.
• One to one support from the experienced members of the Rubicon Centre team
• Office and other business incubation facilities in CIT’s Rubicon Centre
• Networking with other entrepreneurs and business development agencies.
• Introductions to seed and early stage capital investment networks.
• Access to entrepreneurship best practice, both national and international.
• Peer-group learning from participants in the region and across the country.
• Access to Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre.
• Access to the expertise and research facilities of Cork Institute of Technology

Upon completion of Phase 2 a decision is then taken on which participants should be selected to proceed to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Scaling the Business

Those selected to participate on Phase 3 will receive:

• An additional 3 months of incubation space in the Rubicon Centre
• Additional one-to-one consulting and mentoring during this period
• Additional training

Who Should Apply?

The New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme is aimed at early stage entrepreneurs across a wide variety of industry sectors. If a promoter can demonstrate that their business idea has the ability to generate international sales then the project will be considered for the New Frontiers Programme.

Candidates should be ambitious, committed and have the capability to develop a sustainable business.

It should be growth orientated, with the objective of planning to achieving turnover greater than €500,000 and creating more than five jobs in 3-5 years’ time. The business should ideally be Built on on a strong foundation of innovation and/or Technology and the promoter should be able to demonstrate that there is a market for the proposed product or service.

The Application Process

The next Phase 1 Programme commences on Tuesday, April 9. If you would like to be considered for Phase 1 please complete the expression of interest form on www.rubiconcentre.ie as soon as possible.

In certain instances candidates can proceed directly to Phase 2 of the Programme without completing Phase 1. If you feel that your idea is ready to proceed directly to Phase 2 you should complete the expression of interest form on the above mentioned website.

If you have any queries regarding the New Frontiers Programme you should contact Peter Finnegan, New Frontiers Programme Manager, Rubicon Centre,
Cork Institute of Technology, by calling 021 4928916 or by emailing peter.finnegan@rubiconcentre.ie

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