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Four of the Mid West’s Most Promising Start Ups Win Prestigious New Frontiers Awards at Ceremony in LIT

A software solution for visitor attractions, a wine with a distinct Irish flavour, a company that grows Cannabis Sativa and a company aimed at providing professional development to teachers were the big winners at the 2019 LIT New Frontiers Start-up Awards.

A total of 14 new business leaders from the acclaimed New Frontiers programme showcased their start-up companies at a ceremony in the Millennium Theatre at LIT, Moylish Campus on Wednesday May 15, 2019.

New Frontiers is the national entrepreneur development programme funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by LIT at the Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre.

The programme focuses on developing core entrepreneur and leadership skills, and opening up networks for promising entrepreneurs who have ideas with international potential.

Popular among entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea and plan to establish a company in Ireland, the New Frontiers programme is already accepting applications for Phase 1 of its next Entrepreneur Development Bootcamp Programme. The closing date for all applications is noon on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Finalist- from left to right:  Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Ciara McGuane, CEO/Founder Rahoo / Winner, Councillor James Collins, Mayor of the City & County Limerick, Chris Clancy
Finalist- from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Ciara McGuane, CEO/Founder Rahoo / Winner, Councillor James Collins, Mayor of the City & County Limerick, Chris Clancy.
LIT Showcase Winner (this is the best stand, demo on the day) - from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT,   Brendan Reddin, - Co-Founder BT Wines Ltd / Winner, Councillor James C
LIT Showcase Winner (this is the best stand, demo on the day) - from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Brendan Reddin, - Co-Founder BT Wines Ltd / Winner.
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Vice President for Research Development and Innovation LIT Dr Liam Brown described New Frontiers as a truly national programme with a significant regional outreach.

“LIT is delighted to be the lead partner in this region but we cannot do it alone – its takes a community. We had more than 70 people supporting the participants for this years New Frontiers Phase 2. Mentors, guest speakers, guest facilitators, workshop hosts, advisors, members of the professional service organisations in Limerick and beyond and more.”

Speaking about the benefits to the entrepreneur Dr Brown said, “The results from this elite programme for start ups is rewarding, and is recognised as a huge driver of success by many of the prosperous indigenous companies in the Mid West. It provides help and support to accelerate business development and equips participants with the skills and contacts required to successfully start and grow their company. “Previous New Frontier participants have told us time and time again, that being accepted and then completing the New Frontier Programme is like wearing a badge of quality in the business world. It means you have been recognised as a viable business, you have the skill set to succeed, and there is a willingness for other businesses to meet and negotiate with you after the successful completion of the New Frontiers programme,” said Dr Brown.

According to Paula Carroll, Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Programme Manager,

"New Frontiers is a critically important programme within Enterprise Ireland's offering. It is the national entrepreneurial development programme and helps start-ups on their journey, with expertise and funding. I am very impressed with the 2019 LIT cohort, which is a particularly strong group and I wish them well on further development of their companies"

The New Frontiers’ end of year ceremony further recognises the entrepreneurship and innovation through awards for Startup of the Year, Finalists of the Year and Showcase Winner.

New Frontiers 2019 Winners:

Startup of the Year 2019:
The 2019 New Frontier Startup of the Year is Ivan Tuohy.
Ivan Tuohy set up Great Ireland Experiences as a software solution for Visitor Attractions. It has a frontend App for the visitor and is smart, intelligent, automated software for the attraction. This innovative app enables attractions to load all content to a single space, capture rich customer data and customise and personalise their sales offerings.

Finalist 2019:
Ciara McGuane is named as 2019 Finalist. 
Ciara McGuane is making professional development accessible for teachers - anytime, anywhere with her company Rahoo. 

Finalist 2019:
Finalist 2019 was also awarded to Laura Jayne Foley.
Laura Jayne Foley is the founder of Canabaoil Ltd. Canabaoil is an Irish company growing Cannabis Sativa under licence from the Department of Health and producing legal, non-psychoactive cannabinoid rich resin for the National and International wholesale ingredient market.

Showcase Winner 2019:
The judges named Brendan Reddin and Trisha Kelly  as Showcase Winner 2019.
Brendan Reddin and Trisha Kelly founded BT Wines with a view to creating a range of premium wines which have a distinct Irish aspect. Their introduction of Irish Peat to the process brings a unique and distinctive Irish element to grape varieties everyone knows and loves. 


Congratulating the New Frontiers graduates Prof Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT emphasised the important role played by New Frontiers entrepreneurs in Irish business. 

“Through innovation, dedication, hard work and newly acquired New Frontiers skillsets, these entrepreneurs will develope sustainable businesses that are driving the economy forward and impacting on society.

“It is home grown businesses like these that are the bedrock of our local economies, rural and urban, while also positively influencing our national economy,” he said.

“At LIT we want to facilitate, support and grow that sense of leadership, that sense of innovation, that entrepreneurial instinct, that passion. We want to help businesses succeed. LIT looks forward to continuing our support as these businesses grow and prosper,” added Prof Cunnane.

Congratulations the entrepreneurs on their passion and bravery Dr Brown said, “LIT has been fortunate to be part of your journey supporting the hard work you have putt into your businesses through the New Frontiers Programme.You are indeed a group with global ambition and we look forward to continuing our support as you start and grow your businesses.”

Further information on New Frontiers is available at hartnettcentre.ie/newfrontiers.

LIT Startup of the Year, 2019 - from left to right:  Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Ivan Touhy, CEO & Founder, Great Ireland Experience / Winner, Councillor James Collins
LIT Startup of the Year, 2019 - from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Ivan Touhy, CEO & Founder, Great Ireland Experience / Winner, Councillor James Collins.
New Frontiers Award ceremony which took place on 15th May in LIT  - from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Laura Foley -CEO Canabaoil Ltd.
New Frontiers Award ceremony which took place on 15th May in LIT - from left to right: Prof Vincent Cunnane - President LIT, Laura Foley -CEO Canabaoil Ltd.
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