GMIT ‘New Frontiers’ Enterprise Programme

New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme, delivered locally by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and funded by Enterprise Ireland.

If you have an innovative business idea with a plan to establish your own company, or you are already at an early stage of development, the New Frontiers Programme can provide you with funding, help and support to develop your new business. Participants can remain in their own office, enterprise centre, start-up hub, work from home and/or avail of the GMIT Innovation Hubs.

How Does The Programme Benefit Entrepreneurs?

Expertise in all areas of business including investment, market research & validation, business model, patenting, product development, sales and marketing.

Mentoring from experienced business advisers and practitioners.

Office space (if needed) and other business incubation facilities.

€15,000 funding to cover full-time participation in the second phase of the programme.

Networking opportunities 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 this region and across the country.

Access to the expertise in Enterprise Ireland through the Market Research Centre.

Expertise from GMIT and the supportive environment of the Innovation Hubs in Galway and Mayo.

Ideally Applicants Should:

  • Have an innovative idea
  • Be capable of building a new company
  • Create employment
  • Generate sales revenue
  • Have export potential

New Frontiers is Delivered in Three Phases:

  • The First Phase will test the feasibility of the proposition. It is the shortest phase (6/8 weeks) and will be conducted on a part-time basis. It will focus on the promoter, product/service, market opportunity, business model and feasibility study.
  • The Second Phase is much more intensive. Participants on this phase must commit on a full-time basis for 6 months. €15,000 funding will be available to all eligible participants. Expert modules, workshops and mentoring will be provided.
  • The Third Phase is built around the business success and growth, getting to the market, exporting, generating employment and attracting investment. This will be full-time over 3 months.  A €14,000 award fund sponsored by KPMG (€10,000) and AIB (€4,000) will be available for the best emerging companies on the programme.

Apply early as places are limited.  First preference places will be offered to those who return their applications by Friday, 16th March.

Planned start date for Phase 1 is 7th April.

Email Trisha Carrick for an application form.

Additional information: or

networking west

Top 5 Networking Events in the West this Spring

It’s the new year and it’s time to get out there and promote your business, get inspired and expand your network.

There are so many great networking and business events taking place across the West of Ireland; we’ve rounded up our list of the ones not to miss.

1. Leveraging Ireland West Airport, How can your Business Benefit? BOI Workbench, Galway, 18 Jan 2018

Ireland West Airport had a record-breaking year as the airport’s passenger numbers increased by 7pc or 48,000 to 733,869. How can your business benefit from that, and even create more demand for those routes?. Join an interactive talk with Donal Healy, Head of Marketing & Route Development. This event welcomes hoteliers, tour companies, local business owners and anyone who can add value to the west region’s airport. Learn about the routes in place for 2018, the demographic of people through the airport into the west region, and how you can target cities of origin. All welcome!

Register at

2. Hackaholdem, The Building Block, Sligo, 03 & 04 February

sligo hackathonHackahold’em – a gamified version of a hackathon is set to take place in The Building Block, Sligo on February 03-04 2018.
Bringing together up to 40 programmers, designers and product developers, the event will take place over a 24 hour period with 5- 7 teams set to participate.

The event is for developers, designers and all-rounders in the digital space and our aim is to bring the fun and community feel back into hackathons, while providing a space for participants to network and build something cool together.

Sign up now!

3. Digital West, GMIT, Mayo, 30 January

Emerging trends and careers in Digital Media and how companies can stay competitive will be the focus of a public seminar in GMIT Mayo on Tuesday 30 January, delivered by leading professionals and academics in digital media, marketing and technology.

Organised by the Mayo campus academic staff in collaboration with the Innovation Hub, the “Digital West” event will include topics on Digital Media Strategies, Bots & Automation, Google Analytics, Automation of Digital Media, Blockchain, and more.

This Dynamic FREE event will focus on emerging trends in Digital Media and how they will affect companies and individuals in 2018 and beyond.
As the digital media landscape rapidly evolves with the introduction of new technologies such as AI, analytics, automation and a movement towards high definition video communication, companies are finding it increasingly hard to attract and maintain talent.
More at

4. Open Talent Speed Dating, Galway, 06 April

Open Talent Galway

Open Talent is a two-part event where people of all backgrounds come to Galway city over two days in April for a sweep of 1-1 interviews, and speed dating events with local businesses. Want to get straight to interview?

Register at

5. Startup Weekend West (Ire): Future of Towns, Achill Island, 27 April

Keel Beach

Keel Beach, Achill

Achill Island, Co. Mayo is the destination for the upcoming Startup Weekend West taking place on Friday, April 27, 2018. The theme is the future of towns.

This unique Startup Weekend will bring together designers, developers, county councillors, urban planners, founders, and much more to conceive ideas and build solutions that will bring life and economic vitality back into Irish towns.

The weekend costs just €60 to attend, and that includes all meals each day, a t-shirt and some cosy accommodation.

On Friday, some of the attendees will pitch an idea for 60 seconds. The best ten ideas (voted for by attendees) will progress to build a team and then through to pitch at the final. On Saturday, mentors and coaches (who are established business owners or experts in their area) will be brought in to help guide the teams through execution. On Sunday, the event will finish with the final pitches and winners announced. There’s also a cracking after-party.

TechStars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Full details on how to get involved at


sligo hackathon

Hackahold’em – a Hackathon With A Twist Set To Bring Start-up Community Together in Sligo

Hackhold’em – a gamified version of hackathon is set to take place in The Building Block, Sligo on February 4th – 5th 2018.

Bringing together up to 40 programmers, designers and product developers, the event will take place over a 24 hour period with 5- 7 teams set to participate.

Overall, the event in Sligo aims to develop the start-up community by bringing together a mixture of developers, engineers, and doers, who will work together intimately over twenty-four hours to collaborate and bring an idea to fruition.

A hackathon is a unique opportunity for coders, developers, designers, ideators, and mentors to come together, brainstorm, problem solve, and create innovative solutions to real life challenges. With the added element of a poker game, teams will receive chips upon entry to the event, and the team with the most chips at the end of the event will win the overall prize fund.

Founded by Mayo native Noel Mulkeen and YoungHwi Cho from Seoul, Korea, the duo met as tenants in The Building Block co-working space which is home to a mix of start-ups, SMEs and remote workers.

Mulkeen, an experienced entrepreneur, found and built a mobile software business. Since relocating from Stockholm to Sligo, Noel he has co-founded – a tool to help businesses communicate their values to consumers through their CSR initiatives. With a keen interest in helping the start-up community in Sligo reach it’s full potential, he commented on the event: “This is a new way of bringing together a community of programmers, designers, ideators and mentors together, and to see what we can create; we’re excited about the event itself, but also the new relationships formed as a result of it. Hackathons have produced some very successful ideas which have gone on to become start-ups and full blown companies. We’re really excited about the potential of this event.”

John Reilly, head of the Local Enterprise Office, Sligo, said: “There’s so much innovative talent in the business community here in Sligo. It’s great to see a forum like this where they can get together, network and have some fun.”

Originally from Seoul, Korea, YoungHwi Cho, moved to Sligo in June 2017. He is a co-founder of BourbonShake, which runs Steemhunt, a blockchain-based social community, and Bark, a location-based chat app. As a recent addition to the local start-up scene in Sligo, YoungHwi is enthusiastic: “We think Sligo has so much potential to be a unique start-up and entrepreneurial hub –  we expect this event to be an excellent catalyst to promote this type of ecosystem here.”

Major sponsors for the event include Overstock, Local Enterprise Office Sligo, The Building Block and Bank of Ireland.

For further information and to register your interest in attending, visit or follow @hackaholdem

WDC Analysis of Census data: Where people in the Western Region Live and Work

More people living in the Western Region now leave the Region for work – analysis of Census data by the WDC shows

  • 7 out of every 10 workers (71.5%) living in the Western Region, work within the Region a decline since 2011 when 73.2% of workers in the Western Region found work in the Region.
  • Over 4,200 Western Region residents travel to work in Dublin, up by 16.9% since 2011.
  • In 2016 there was a net loss of 17,565 workers who leave the Region to work elsewhere.
  • Compared to 2011, this is an increase in the number of workers leaving the Region to work, when there was a net loss of -14,939 residents working outside of the Region.

Of the workplace destinations outside the Western Region, the five counties of Limerick (7,948), Westmeath (4,500), Dublin (4,258), Derry (2,986) and Longford (1,730) are the most significant workplaces.

Over 4,500 workers living in the Western Region work abroad (4,661).

View some specific county findings: HERE

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst, 086 605 3317


marine businesses

Marine Industry Businesses – Get Listed in the Marine Institute Directory

La Tene Maps has been contracted by the Marine Development Team through the Marine Institute to
compile a complete Directory on Marine Related Business in Ireland to be delivered in Electronic and
Printed format. If you are a marine related business and you would like to be included in this directory please complete this short 5 minute survey HERE .

This information is required to support the work of the Marine Development Team an initiative of the Government to promote and support the development of marine related business in Ireland. This is laid out in the Government’s integrated plan for the marine industry, Harnessing our Ocean Wealth.

As part of this mission it is critically important that there is a single, complete and updated source of information on:

  1. What are the companies active in Marine Ireland
  2. Where are they and what parts of the marine business are they active in
  3. How can they be contacted

La Tene Maps will compile and produce a printed directory whilst the data from the directory will also be made available for free access online by the Irish Maritime Development Office in early 2018.
To help complete this directory please complete this short 5 minute survey HERE. La Tene Maps will keep you informed about progress about the directory.


the cube

The Cube – New desk space facility in Roscommon

A brand new facility in Roscommon providing shared flexible deskspace is now available for innovative entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises at the new Civic Offices in Roscommon town. The measure is an important milestone in Roscommon County Council’s aim to provide strategic infrastructure to foster the next generation of innovative enterprises across the county. This is another step in fostering and retaining the best entrepreneurs in the county, especially the many graduates that the county produces, who often have to leave in search of work opportunities or the necessary modern infrastructure to assist them to establish their own businesses.

The hotdesk space has a capacity of 14 desks aimed at new and existing enterprises and workers who require a modern, professional environment with advanced connectivity to set up and operate their businesses. The facility provides access to high speed broadband, IP telephony, meeting rooms and other support services.  Very attractive rates are available for users depending on their needs, stage of business development and support required to bring their ideas to fruition.

Managed by WestBIC in partnership with Roscommon County Council, the facility also provides extensive networking opportunities and linkages to the range of enterprise and innovation supports from the Local Authority, Local Enterprise Office, WestBIC and other agencies in a one-stop shop environment.

To assist entrepreneurs and innovative enterprises, WestBIC, the official EU Business & Innovation Centre in the region, provides applied innovation support services which includes investor-grade business planning with hands-on support to access start and growth capital and provides access to growth opportunities through its extensive EU networks and programmes. WestBIC also assists Roscommon County Council with its strategic and innovation planning, EU programme delivery and international partnering needs.

Launching the new centre recently, Leas Cathaoirleach Nigel Dineen spoke about the pro-active nature of the Council working in partnership with other organisations and the importance of developing facilities to attract the next generation of innovative enterprises. “The Cathaoirleach and Elected Members have provided their rooms to develop this new space.  Funding was also provided to develop facilities in Castlerea to support local food industries. As part of the 3 year Capital Plan the Elected Members voted for funding to be made available for a new Innovation Centre and I know the Chief Executive and his team hope to proceed with plans later this year”.

For those wishing to avail of the new facility, they should contact James at WestBIC in the new Civic Offices, tel. 090 6625196 or email:

More info at



BioExel Accelerator Open Call for Applications

First Investor ready, seed funded, International Medtech Accelerator in Ireland Starting Autumn 2017 in Galway.
BioExel is a partnership programme funded by Enterprise Ireland, Galway University Foundation, the Western Development Commission and Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund originated and delivered by an experienced Medtech team on the NUI Galway campus. 

The Mentor-centric programme, with both a seasoned Entrepreneur- and Investor-in residence, differentiates itself from other programmes in that successful applicants will receive €95,000 (cash and in-kind services) to help significantly accelerate Medtech opportunities which have a specific technical, commercial and/or clinical question to answer in an intensive 6 month period.

BioExel is a partnership programme funded by Enterprise Ireland, Galway University Foundation, the Western Development Commission and Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, originated and delivered on campus by NUI Galway BioExel Management Team.

  • Closing date for receipt of completed applications is the 30th of October, 2017
  • Presentations for those shortlisted will take place from Monday the 20th of November to Friday the 24th of November.
  • Applicants must be available to present.
  • The Programme will commence December 2017

See press release for BioExel launched last week by Enterprise Ireland .

Visit for more information



back for business

New Entrepreneurship Programme for Returning Irish Emigrants

Back for Business is a new pilot initiative to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning or recently returned to live in Ireland.  It addresses the challenges that all early stage entrepreneurs face with a particular focus on the additional barriers and challenges faced by those who have been out of the country for some time.  This can often result in their local knowledge, contact base and professional and personal networks being less developed than those of typical entrepreneurs.  Back for Business aims to bridge this gap.

Supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Back for Business initiative aims to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning or recently returned to live in Ireland.

back for business

Paula Fitzsimons Consulting is managing the Back for Business initiative which will be run on the same basis as the Going for Growth initiative  – Entrepreneurs supporting Entrepreneurs at Lead facilitated round tables.

Lead Entrepreneurs in place around the country include –

  • Áine Denn, Altify, (Dublin)
  • James Murphy, Life’s2good (Galway)
  • John O’Hare, Azotel, (Cork)
  • Julie Currid, Initiafy, (Dublin)
  • Mary McKenna, formally Learning Pool (Donegal)
  • Tom Brennan, formerly EirGen Pharma (Waterford).
  • Chris Winning, Corporate Care Relocation,  will advise on issues relating to returned emigrants.

The programme runs from November 2017 to May 2018 with no costs to participants. The deadline for completed application forms to be returned is no later than Friday 3 November 2017.

Further information at



Mayo’s first Économusée at Kelly’s Butchers Newport

Mayo’s first Économusée was officially opened on Thursday 12th October 2017, at Kelly’s Butchers, Newport by Maireád Lavery, Editor Irish Country Living – Irish Farmers Journal. It’s just the third food Économusée in Ireland.

The Économusée movement is an international network of artisans which was started in Québec, Canada and is spreading worldwide. These rural artisan food and craft producers are supported to develop a tourism aspect to their operations providing a learning and interpretive experience for visitors. In Kelly’s case, the visits will be by pre-booking only. The Économusées form a tourism-based network, or trail, which helps the businesses expand their sales, to sustain employment and offers an enhanced visitor experience.

For over 80 years Kelly’s Butchers in Newport, Co. Mayo have been quietly making their mark with superior black and white puddings, the traditional putóg and speciality sausages. The company motto is “We make up to a standard, not down to a price” a confident declaration of a commitment to premium quality.

The family business maintains their traditional methods and recipes, using only the highest quality Irish ingredients. These time-honoured processes are now the focus of the Économusée. Kelly’s sought after artisan products are multiple award winners both in Ireland and internationally.

Pictured at the opening of Mayo’s first Économusée at Kellys Artisan Butchers Newport were: Sue O’Toole (SWMDC), Seán Kelly (Kelly’s Artisan Butchers, Newport, Co. Mayo), Declan Coppinger (Bord Bia), Mairead Lavery (Irish Farmers Journal), Brian Quinn (Failte Ireland), Brídín McIntyre (Teagasc Food Research Centre), Maria Heneghan (Teagasc), Gerry O’Neill (SWMDC) and Dr. Kevin Heanue (Teagasc).
Pic: Michael Mc Laughlin

An Économusée is an important heritage tourism attraction and contributes to the sustainability of rural areas through the creation of direct employment and by providing an attraction that disperses tourists to rural regions. Speaking at the opening, Mairéad Lavery said, “Kelly’s involvement in the Économusée movement arose because of The Craft Reach project, which is led in Ireland by Teagasc and funded by the EU Northern Periphery and Artic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020. The term Économusée is copyright protected and it is a recognised badge of quality which carries the tagline ‘Artisans at Work’.

A network of 80 Économusées now exists internationally, with 45 based in Canada and 35 in 7 European countries including Ireland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway and Sweden. There are five Économusées in Ireland. Three are food producers, two are craft based, and there are plans for more in 2018”.

Dr. Kevin Heanue who is leading the project for Teagasc commented, “The ÉCONOMUSÉE concept is an innovative model of rural enterprise support which helps artisan producers diversify their businesses into the cultural tourism market by providing them with a 6 step template to help them structure the visitor experience and also links them with an international network of like-minded artisan producers. The network will benefit greatly from a producer with the reputation of Kelly’s becoming a member”.

The Kelly’s Butchers Économusée is well placed to attract the “culturally curious” tourist, who represents a significant market segment in Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland’s marketing strategy. As Seán Kelly said, “The Économusée is all about bringing our history right into the present day.

It’s a showcase for the time honoured, traditional ways of making black pudding and a chance for us to introduce visitors to Newport and our local area”.

An insight into the Économusée Network – the types of businesses, their location and background can found at

More information on Kelly’s Butchers at

Information on Teagasc can be found at

Grainne Kelly

Tell a great story and watch your business grow at the Xchange

The importance of telling your story well is one of the key messages two leading entrepreneurs will be bringing to The Xchange mentoring and networking event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Rosses Point, Sligo, on October 5th and 6th.

Grainne Kelly of BubbleBum, the inflatable car booster seat company, and Emma Coogan of Articulate Now, which provides clients with coaching on clear, confident speaking and presenting skills, will discuss the business of getting your story and message across.

Grainne Kelly is the CEO and inventor of Bubblebum UK Ltd, manufacturer of the world’s first inflatable car booster seat. Founded in December 2009, Bubblebum now exports to 27 countries and is stocked by major retailers including Walmart, Aldi, Amazon, Lidl and Tesco.

“I have two key messages,” Grainne says. “First, tell your story. If you just say, ‘I have an inflatable car seat’, you’re gone. You won’t be memorable unless you tell your story. Say who you are, how and why you came up with the idea and what you did to make it happen.”

“The second is your message. You have to be able to say what you do in one sentence. You lose their attention after the first sentence.”

Of course, how you deliver your story or message is of critical importance and that is where Emma Coogan of Articulate Now comes in. Emma initially worked with clients on their speaking and presenting skills through her school of speech and drama before founding Articulate Now due to the increasing demand from businesses and individuals.

xchange sligo

Emma Coogan, Articulate

Emma will be stressing the importance of energy, tone, pace and simplicity to Xchange participants. “When we have that nice, relaxed positive energy, people pick up on that and it helps people to make a connection with us and what we’re saying. When people make that connection with us, then they trust us and they are happy or feel more confident in working with us,” she says.

“One thing that’s very important is to consider the tone of your voice. Trying to match the tone of your voice to your message, to the meaning of what you’re saying, so that there is that link, that connection, between what you say and how you say it.”

Full details on the Xchange and how to apply at