Companies participating on the New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme at IT, Tralee recently raised funding in excess of €60,000. Caroline McCarron (below right) of Niche Protein and Lorraine Scroope (below left) of wizZki were both awarded funding through the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Feasibility Fund for Female-led new start-up companies, while Caroline McCarron also won the Dragon’s Den style ‘Pitchcrawl’ competition at the recent Irish Innovation Showcase in Limerick, winning a prize package valuing €25,000. Niche Protein is a biotechnology company specialising in the manufacture of recombinant proteins for life science research and quality control material in the In Vitro Diagnostics market, while wizZki is a private e-recruitment platform offering intelligent matching, candidate profiling, assessing and interviewing that is transforming how employers recruit staff and the way people find jobs.
Commenting on the recent successes Brid McElligott, Head of Development at the Institute of Technology, Tralee said “the Institute is delighted to be associated with Niche Protein and wizZki and congratulate both promoters on their success. The Enterprise Ireland funding will enable Caroline and Lorraine set out investor-ready plans and financials associated with developing and commercialising their businesses on international markets”.
The ‘Pitch Crawl’ concept is modelled on a new method in the US for start-up CEOs to network with investors in which they make an ‘elevator pitch’ of their ideas and concepts to investors, explained Brid. “The Irish Innovation Showcase Pitch Crawl was the first of its kind In Ireland and of the four finalists on the day three were participants of the IT, Tralee New Frontiers programme. The Institute continues to develop an enterprise culture through providing the right environment for new ideas to grow alongside existing flourishing enterprises at the Tom Crean Business Centre. New Frontiers supports the Institute’s vision of seamless integration of education and enterprise and a commitment to harnessing the synergies created to greatly enhance regional impact”.
New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme which is funded by Enterprise Ireland and is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology. Launched earlier this year, IT, Tralee is one of the 13 Institutes of Technology providing budding entrepreneurs and start-ups with a package of supports to help accelerate business development and equip the entrepreneurs with the skills and contacts needed to successfully start and grow a company. The New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme aims to support the creation of 100 high value, knowledge based, Irish owned businesses, each year. Kerry participants are based at the Tom Crean Business Centre located at the IT, Tralee North Campus. This centre provides start-up businesses with the right environment to build and scale an international business, combining office space with business support services in an environment rich with a network of entrepreneurs, focusing on technology and knowledge intensive sectors.
Further details on the centre are available by contacting Anne Looney, Marketing & Enterprise Officer at IT, Tralee on 066 7191994.