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 Enterprise Ireland 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.
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 startups 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.”
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.
LIT’s New Frontiers Startup Award 2019 Winners
LIT’s 2019 New Frontier Startup of the Year – Ivan Tuohy, Great Ireland Experiences. 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.
Startup Finalist Ciara McGuane is making professional development accessible for teachers – anytime, anywhere with her company Rahoo.
Startup Finalist Laura Jayne Foley is the founder of Canabaoil which 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 Brendan Reddin and Trisha Kelly, BT wines 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.
LIT, Limerick Local Enterprise Office, HOMS Solicitors and Bridgewater Management were the key sponsors for the annual flagship event and came together to provide prizes for each award and give the entrepreneurs a boost on their way to being a successful global company!
As part of our sponsorship HOMS provides guest lectures on legal advice for start-up companies. Later in the year, we run workshops and answer questions based on start-ups experience on legal challenges they face. At the awards ceremony we sponsor prizes for the companies who after a presentation showcase and judging were awarded Start Up of the Year 2019, two Finalist awards and Best Stand/Demo 2019.
Congratulating 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 put 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.”
George Kennedy, Partner, congratulated the winners saying,
“Congratulations to all participants in the 2019 LIT New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme. HOMS are a proud sponsor of the programme and pictured are our Associate Solicitors Neil O’Gorman and Shane Costelloe with award-winners Ivan Tuohy of Great Ireland Experiences, Ciara McGuane of Rahoo.ie and Laura Foley of Canabaoil. We wish the participants and winners every success in the future. We are looking forward to working with them. Well done too to Gillian Barry and Mary Casey for their hard work and dedication in delivering the programme.”