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TUS Business Start-up Awards 2024 Celebrates Entrepreneurial Excellence



TUS Business Start-up Awards 2024 Celebrates Entrepreneurial Excellence. Pictured in the back row are Keith Crehan, Deas Drinks. Lindsay Moynagh, Wendor. Tommy Cusack, Crossover Airlines. Margaret Power, SiBark. James Drew, Drew Aerospace. Front row are Fiona Healy, Avatar Fashion. Aisling Walsh, SubConnect. Brian Sheehan, Flare Football. Adem Ergen, OneBill Utilities. Ixis Santos, Forest Mist Skincare and Cleidi Hearn, ML Skills Academy.

The TUS Business Start-up Awards 2024 is set to shine a light on entrepreneurship in the region celebrating the innovative spirit and achievements of entrepreneurs from the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Programme

TUS Business Start-up Awards 2024 Celebrates Entrepreneurial Excellence
This year’s event will put founders and their teams in the spotlight having recently completed the New Frontiers Programme. Picture: Alan Place

Hosted by TUS Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre in collaboration with UL Nexus, this flagship event marks its 18th anniversary and will take place on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at ENGINE, Upper Cecil Street, Limerick.

The event will put founders and their teams in the spotlight having recently completed the New Frontiers Programme, an Enterprise Ireland National Founders Programme aimed at early-stage, high-potential start-ups and growth companies.

In 2023, the national programme reached a milestone, with nearly 500 individuals embarking on Phase 1, which focuses on initial business validation and market research. Of these, 170 advanced to Phase 2, dedicated to further business development and planning, and 34 exceptional founders progressed to Phase 3, where they received additional funding and intensive mentoring to accelerate their business growth. Among the Phase 2 participants, 11 founders from TUS Midwest programme stood out. These 11 founders are set to present their pitch at the awards event. Their detailed profiles and innovative venture descriptions are available on the Hartnett Centre website.

In addition to the 11 founders pitching on the day, two panels will also feature. The first panel will spotlight alumni of the New Frontiers programme, including Shane Ryan of Fiid, who not only successfully exports his plant-based meals internationally but also demonstrates a profound commitment to social impact having donated nearly a million meals to date. Attendees will also hear from Mark Cochrane of Trackplan, who has transformed his startup into a globally recognised facilities management software provider, showcasing the potential for innovative growth and success on the world stage.

Additionally, Edel Breslin, the innovative mind behind Oirtonics, will share her experience in developing and marketing research-backed health products across the nation. The panel will also feature Paul Byrnes of Mavarick, who achieved a historic win at the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition in 2023, Ireland’s most significant event celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship.



Mavarick uses advanced technology to help manufacturers become more productive and sustainable. Paul will provide invaluable insights into the fusion of innovation and environmental responsibility.

The second panel is a Business Growth Panel which will feature insights from experts Gillian Slattery of Enterprise Ireland, Shane Creamer of Local Enterprise Offices (LEO), Gearoid Kearney of NDRC, and Declan Fox of CorkBIC. The Business Growth panel will provide valuable knowledge on funding and support mechanisms essential for the growth and scalability of start-ups.

Congratulating the New Frontiers cohort, 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.”

Adding, “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. “

As well as the interesting and informative panel discussions, the event will be an opportunity for networking among attendees. The event will bring together representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices in the Midwest, Cork BIC, Innovate Limerick, NDRC, HBAN, investors, fellow entrepreneurs, business leaders, the research community and overall; a community invested in fostering innovation.

Paula Carroll, New Frontiers National Programme Manager said, “The New Frontiers programme has been instrumental in the success of many Irish startup founders including those based in the Midwest. The programme connects the early-stage founders with a vibrant community of experienced entrepreneurs, business experts and advisors to develop a wide range of business skills.

The programme delivered by TUS Midwest is an important element of Enterprise Irelands regional strategy in the Midwest and continues to be a strong pipeline for quality projects for the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Irelands High Potential Startup (HPSU) division”.

Gillian Barry, TUS Head of Innovation & Enterprise, expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming awards, stating, “The TUS Business Start-up Awards are not just a celebration of entrepreneurial success; they are a testament to the vibrant, innovative spirit that thrives within our community.

“As we highlight the remarkable achievements of our New Frontiers participants and alumni, we also lay a pathway for future entrepreneurs, offering them a platform for growth, networking, and inspiration. This event is a cornerstone in our mission to cultivate a dynamic ecosystem where startups can flourish, connect with seasoned investors, and tap into a wealth of expertise.

“I invite stakeholders from all corners of the entrepreneurial landscape to join us, witness the potential of our emerging businesses, and explore the myriad of opportunities for collaboration and investment.”

The TUS Business Start-up Awards 2024 event is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Limerick Local Enterprise Office; Clare Local Enterprise Office; Tipperary Local Enterprise Office; Holmes; Bridgewater; Limerick Chamber Skillnets and Innovate Limerick and takes place from 12:15 to 14:00 on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at ENGINE, Upper Cecil Street, Limerick and those interested in attending are advised to register now via the Hartnett Centre Website.

Find out more about New Frontiers
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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.