Donegal founders among 170 graduates

Some 170 graduates from Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers class of 2023 attended a National Networking event in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone on Thursday.

The event brought together New Frontiers alumni and a panel of experts including Gianni Matera (Growing Capital), Anna-Marie Turley (Enterprise Ireland), Christine Charlton (Local Enterprise Office) and Rosemary Gallagher (HBAN).

From Donegal to Kerry and Galway to Dublin, New Frontiers is Ireland’s national programme to develop the entrepreneurial skillset in early-stage founders. The programme, funded by the Irish government through Enterprise Ireland, is delivered across 3 phases at a local level by the Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology in 18 locations around Ireland.


2023 was another record year for New Frontiers with almost 500 individuals taking part in Phase 1 of the programme, 170 completing Phase 2 and a further 34 founders receiving additional funding and mentoring in Phase 3.

13 founders from Atlantic Technological University (ATU) – Donegal Campus and Atlantic Technological University (ATU) – Sligo Campus were among the 2023 New Frontiers Programme participants.

Congratulating the graduates, Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “The New Frontiers programme was launched in 2012 with the aim of accelerating the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment and growth potential, particularly in regional locations. Since then, over 5,000 New Frontiers participants have received funding and intensive support to develop their start-up ideas. Sectors range from cleantech and food products to digital media and medical devices, with many founders going on to develop award-winning businesses to match their global ambition. It is wonderful to see New Frontiers Alumni, investors and recent graduates come together to share expert advice and guidance with those seeking to grow their business.”

Speaking at the event, Paula Carroll, New Frontiers National Programme Manager said:  “The New Frontiers programme has been instrumental in the success of many Irish startup founders, connecting them with a vibrant community of founders, business experts and advisors to develop a wide range of business skills. This event gives the participants the opportunity to meet with other fellow founders from across the 13 national programmes allowing them to build an invaluable network to draw from as they build their businesses.”

Attendees at the event engaged with a panel discussion featuring previous New Frontiers alumni, Nipun Kathuria (Smile Genius Dental), Shana Chu (Tailr) and Emma Meehan (Precision Sports Technology) who shared their start-up journeys and how to navigate the opportunities and challenges.

Sinead Crowther from Soothing Solutions and John Killian from GreyScout also discussed how companies can build scale.

About New Frontiers 


Providing a comprehensive set of business development supports, funding and networking opportunities, the New Frontiers programme offers expert advice, mentoring and financial support to people with innovative business ideas and is an important pipeline for the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) division.

For further information on the New Frontiers programme, go to


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