In 2017, I attended Phase 1 of the New Frontiers Programme which is run by Enterprise Ireland. The programme ran two nights a week over six weeks. There was no fee to attend. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone starting a new enterprise, whether your idea is just an idea or is a semi-developed product. What follows is a post which gives an outline of night 1 of the course. When fully published, there will be 11 posts documenting all nights of Phase 1. To see a list of published posts, click here.
Opening night was held in The Synergy Centre in the Institute of Technology Tallaght and it was very positive. The session started at 5.30pm but as soon as I arrived at 5.20pm I was in a room with 21 entrepreneurs chatting. I immediately learned that the course was not open to all and that some attendees knew of people that applied that didn’t get accepted. This was encouraging to hear. Our facilitators for the evening brought us to our classroom and talked about what lay ahead for the next 6 weeks. Alan Costello ran the session and brought us through a slide show explaining both his and the programmes background. We were given some recommended reading in the form of a book, The Lean Startup as well as some blogs, namely Steve Blank and Mark Suster. After a short break, Alan turned the tables and had each of the 22 attendees give a 1-minute talk about their business idea. It was interesting from the point of view that almost all of the 21 ideas were really great. Out of these, there were easily 3 rock solid ideas that sound like real winners. As we signed a non-disclosure agreement I cannot go into detail. Already, ideas were bouncing between the entrepreneurs and potential mutually beneficial relationships were being formed.
An interesting thing that Alan mentioned was, it is important not to think about capturing 1% of your target market knowing that it will achieve your financial targets. The danger with that is that 1% is so insignificant (regardless of actual size) that a small change in the environment (new competitor, new regulations, new investment from existing competitors) can quickly erode your market share.
If you know someone that would benefit from online booking, please let me know about them. I will send you a two paragraph email for you to forward to your friend so it couldn’t be less hassle for you to help a couple of Irish businesses to grow!
Hi, my name is Niall Smith and I am the Founder and CEO of BookingHawk.com. I am an experienced software engineer and have worked with companies like AOL, Guidewire, Deloitte and SAP. I am a graduate of The New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme. I live in Dublin, Ireland with my wife. I love to meet other founders and learn from as many people as possible.