MTU committed to entrepreneurship

Outside of undergraduate teaching, MTU spends over €1m per annum on entrepreneurship training programmes and initiatives. Much of this activity centres around The Rubicon Centre and Tom Crean Centres, MTU’s purpose-built on campus incubators in Cork and Kerry. Combined, the centres host over 70 start-ups on an annual basis.

Incubating success at Rubicon and Tom Crean Centres

The Rubicon Centre supports entrepreneurs to start, accelerate and grow their business in a purpose-built 2,000m² on-campus facility. The Tom Crean Centre on the Kerry campus boasts purpose-built facilities of 22 office units, varying in size from individual to open-plan shared office space. The incubators are staffed with teams of startup experts and are supported by the MTU Innovation and Enterprise team.

Clients based at the incubators are at different stages of development, from the initial concept stage to completing their first customer orders and many are already trading on international markets. These Centres are important catalysts of regional development. In addition to high quality offices space, access to meeting rooms and high-quality VC equipment, the Rubicon and Tom Crean provide in-house management support and coaching, specialist training sessions on sales, marketing, IP, tax, fund raising, legal, etc.

In the Rubicon

Building global networks

MTU’s Innovation and Enterprise Office and the MTU incubators partner with a number of stakeholders and commercial associates for expertise in fund raising and international market access. These alliances offer a gateway to an extensive network for our programme participants and clients to build partnerships with customers and investors around the world. Client companies enjoy access to support for the full development cycle and several have participated in one of the many programmes on offer in the centres.

These programmes include Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Phase 1, 2 and 3; Exxcel for female
entrepreneurs; Student Inc; Scale Cork and RIO innovation training programme for SMEs.

A History of entrepreneurial excellence

Our first Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) started in 1998 and became the template for Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers. Since ‘98 50 cohorts of entrepreneurs have gone through the full-time stage of the EDP and New Frontiers programmes in Cork and Kerry, almost 500 participants. A further 300 have gone through the pre accelerator stage.
300 companies were established as a direct result of these programme. Many of the
participants are recruited from local multinational companies.

According to Steve Blank, one of the founders of the Lean Start Up movement and the US National Science Foundation i Corp entrepreneurship training programme, “Until customer needs are known, and a compelling business model can be found, there is no business”.

MTU’s entrepreneurship programmes have been refined over the years to include lean startup, customer discovery and design thinking with a strong focus on early market engagement and investor readiness. The key features of these training programmes – Design Thinking /Customer Discovery/Lean start up – are internationally recognised methodologies and are tried and tested in MTU with starts up and entrepreneurs, on campus, and in the region. MTU is fortunate to have several designing thinking experts on staff in addition to the lean startup experts on the Innovation and Enterprise team.

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