New Frontiers programme participant speaks of business benefits
A past participant on the New Frontiers Programme at SETU in Waterford is hoping to hit the market with an innovative concept to complement his already successful product - The Grease Shark.
With his company Bull Shark Technologies Ltd, Martin Phelan embarked on three phases of the New Frontiers Programme in 2020/2021 at SETU ArcLabs innovation hub at the West Campus in Carriganore.
Martin’s idea was to remove grease from kitchen canopies/hoods in hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets etc by means of an automated cleaning system which he called The Grease Shark.
From Co Kilkenny, Martin fully launched The Grease Shark in the Irish market in the fourth quarter of 2022, and he has since opened accounts with some of the leading hospitality businesses. He has also recently signed agreements with distributors in the UK and Northern Ireland and is now at the stage where he is beginning to export the Grease Shark, to other markets.
Martin is now working on a further innovation, in response to the energy crisis. The trials have been very successful in helping businesses reduce heating costs and Martin hopes to launch to the market in September as a complimentary product to The Grease Shark.
Martin explained why he applied for phase two of the New Frontiers Programme at SETU. “I choose to apply for the New Frontiers programme because I needed to focus 100% on my business idea and to learn from the experts in business. I found the application process was detailed and made you think deeper about your business idea. The initial face to face interview for phase one was challenging as it had been a long number of years since I sat in front of interviewers,” Martin said.
“The New Frontiers programme was a huge help to me personally. My business idea was challenged and the advice from mentors proved invaluable,” Martin explained, “The most useful element of the programme for me was great quality information at every session. I particularly found the segments on marketing and financials to be of huge benefit. I previously thought, pre–New Frontiers, that I was good at marketing, but having gone through the marketing sessions I found that I gained a lot of knowledge on contemporary marketing.”
“It was great to be in a room of likeminded people. I learned a lot from my fellow participants and past experiences we shared. There was a real sense of unity among us all,” Martin added.
New Frontiers is for entrepreneurs who have a well thought out innovative business idea or an innovative technology that has the possibility to be developed into a scalable high potential start-up company. Applicants should have enthusiasm, confidence, and single-mindedness about setting up and running their business and should be committed to spending time on researching the market potential and launching a new business.
This intensive training and support programme provides desk space, mentoring, business master classes, networking plus funding up to €22,500 in financial support subject to terms and conditions to accelerate business start-ups across the south east region.