Clare McSweeney Founder and CEO of Kuul Play who took part in the New Frontiers Programme last year with Maria Horgan, MTU Rubicon Centre. Photo: Darragh Kane

11 new start-ups cross the Rubicon

The New Frontiers Programme has welcomed 11 new start-up businesses to participate in this six-month, full-time intensive development programme.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the Rubicon Centre at Munster Technological University (MTU), it is Ireland’s largest rapid incubation programme.

Alison Walsh, Programme Manager at the Rubicon Centre said: “New Frontiers Phase 2 is designed for those with an innovative business idea, who show ambition and wish to grow and scale up internationally. We are delighted to support these new start-up businesses, representing a diverse range of founders from different backgrounds from sectors including healthcare, software, fintech, environment sustainability and fashion, representing the thriving spirit of entrepreneurship in this region.”

During the six months, participants will receive financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus on moving from a business concept to reality, with an opportunity to be awarded a further €7,500 in financial supports. Overall they will receive a package of supports worth €30,000, including office space, whilst no equity is taken from participants.

The founders will develop new skills, and will research and validate their business ideas in a supportive environment. Training content is delivered by an expert team of trainers, mentors and advisers, coupled with workshops and on-going one-to-one support from the Rubicon Centre team and Enterprise Ireland. Raising finance is a key input to the programme, including pitch preparation, and access to a wide network of investors in both public and private in Ireland and abroad.

Participants have access to expertise across the MTU ecosystem in Cork and Kerry and will benefit from accessing innovation and collaborating with colleagues in one of the research gateways such as the Nimbus Centre and the Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA).

Current programme participant Steven Nee has a background in aircraft engineering set up EV Revolution with his co-founder Gavin Quigley, a helicopter engineer. The company is developing a range of EV chargers to help people who want to charge at home but without the mess and tangle of traditional cables with retractable chargers and accessories.

“Gavin and I have been thinking about this idea for a while. New Frontiers offers a framework to work on it full-time, to delve deep into our potential market and develop a prototype and range of products, whilst learning from the experts we are meeting every week. This is an intense, busy and rewarding experience,” added Steven.

Also participating on the programme is Muireann Nic Cába whose background is in art, and design and interactive media. Her business, Tag Audio Play is a collaboration tool that people can use when inundated with messages from various platforms. This simple plugin extension helps professionals save time and improve productivity by allowing them to record a voice memo directly to specific aspects of documents.

This can then be shared with colleagues, securely tracking feedback all in one place.

Muireann said, “The programme is challenging us to think outside the box and research our customer base in Ireland and internationally. Being in the Rubicon Centre is how it must feel to attend Hogwarts getting to meet loads of wizards and learn magical new things to shape our business!”

MTU will spend €3.5m over the next five years on the New Frontiers Programme, supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs and to deliver 75 new companies in the south-west region.

Information on how to apply for Phase 1, a pre-accelerator programme delivered part-time, over six weeks and Phase 2 of the New Frontiers Programme can be found on

Places on all phases are assigned through a competitive process including an interview.