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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems



Building on the success of previous pre-accelerator programmes, explorer 2023 has been launched as a collaboration between the Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC) with Tyndall National Institute, international high-tech photonics Osram Opto Semiconductors, Confirm Centre, CONNECT Centre and with support from Atlantic Bridge, Intel, IPCEI, Midas, Nova UCD and Science Foundation Ireland. The programme takes place between February and May, 2023.

proposed programmes activities and mentorship will empower like-minded entrepreneur explorers to:

  • pursue an entrepreneurial path;
  • understand customer needs and pain points;
  • focus on market verticals moving from a product to a market perspective;
  • de-risk deep-tech ventures via product and customer validation;
  • learn from peers, while building a strong cohort community spirit;
  • prepare for next stage supports including grant funding and investment; 
  • be aware of recent/leading edge developments from opto-electronics and microelectronics.

the programme will provide teams with a variety of essential business supports including:

  • entrepreneurial know how, mentoring and feedback from established industry experts and entrepreneurs;
  • industry collaborations; 
  • facilitated access to influential stakeholders and government agencies as well as high-tech companies throughout Ireland; and
  • press and media exposure through high profile brands.

We are looking for impressive ideas at early stage, ideas that seek to make a real difference and address the societal and environmental changes that we face today. convince us that your idea is the next big thing and you’ll gain the opportunity to learn from the best, receive training and industry mentorship to develop it from concept to pitch.

Up to 8 ideas will be selected to participate on fifteen half-day workshop sessions, culminating in a programme showcase.


individuals and teams with an explorer personality, very much like the eminent scientist John Tyndall. Tyndall had a fearless disposition, and demonstrated this through his persistence to explore new ways of looking at the world and conducting scientific experiments that challenged the norm. He shared his discoveries widely within the academic community and most importantly with the public. We want to continue this legacy and recruit applicants that are as daring as he was and are typically:

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such as engineers, programmers, corporate professionals, innovators, students, researchers, Intrapreneurs, innovation managers, entrepreneurs, in fields including smart manufacturing, power semi-conductors, smart sensors, advanced optical and wireless equipment, compound materials and applications related fields, i.e. solutions for health, wellbeing, green society, agriculture and transport.

  • applicants must apply online before midnight on Monday, 23 January 2023.
  • applicants may apply as individuals or as part of a team. up to three participants per team may join the workshops.
  • the programme is open to all-island residents of Ireland.
  • individuals and/or teams should not have received equity investment funding for the idea.

03/01/23: call for applications open
23/01/23: applications close
08/02/23: workshop I: orientation and launch (in person)
09/02/23: workshop II: problem framing (in person)
16/02/23: workshop III: problem framing applied (online)
23/02/23: workshop IV: customer discovery (online)
02/03/23: workshop V: customer discovery applied (online)
16/03/23: workshop VI: value proposition (online)
23/03/23: workshop VII: value proposition applied (online)
30/03/23: workshop VIII: technology readiness (online) 
06/04/23: workshop IX: technology readiness applied (online) 
13/04/23: workshop X: market sizing (online)
20/04/23: workshop XI: market sizing applied (online)
04/05/23: workshop XII: presentation skills (online)
11/05/23: workshop XIII: graphic design and pitch script reviews (online)
18/05/23: workshop XIV: practice pitch and feedback (online)
24/05/23: workshop XV: programme showcase (in person)

*if selected individuals/teams must be available to attend all workshop days. these will take place from 09.30 hrs - 13:00 hrs

The showcase will take place from 14:00 - 16:30 in person at Tyndall National Institute.

if you have a question about making an application to explorer, or about getting involved as a mentor, please email us at