Tortue, a backpack designed to minimise back pain, designed and pitched by a team comprised of Trinity Walton Club students took home the top prize at the Ultimate Pitch Event, held at the Science Gallery Dublin.
The Ultimate Pitch Event is organised by Trinity Walton Club (TWC), Trinity's STEM enrichment programme designed for second-level students. Known as ‘Alphas’, the students are all members of TWC, which promotes self-directed learning.
The winning team, along with the five other finalists, developed their innovation, pitch and presentation over the summer by using the lean canvas business development model through a series of summer workshops in partnership with Bank of Ireland’s innovation team.
The five other finalists competing at the Ultimate Pitch Event today were:
· Happy Head: a wearable that monitors brain activity for stress levels
· Mental Health Now: an app to track and improve your mental health
· Double Treble: a page-turning music stand
· Vegnet: a social platform for recipe sharing
· Visiglove: a wearable glove that turns sign language to text and speech
The winning team behind Tortue were awarded a 3-D printed, revolving trophy that was specially designed for the Ultimate Pitch Event by TWC educator, Patrick Lynch, a PhD student in the Trinity School of Engineering.
The trophy consists of an outer cog with two inner rings which rotate. These rings represent the complementary and interdisciplinary aspects of STEM and entrepreneurship.
Commenting on the winning team, Director of Trinity Walton Club and Assistant Professor in Physics at Trinity, Arlene Gallagher said: “I’m delighted for the Tortue team and for all the other teams whose entrepreneurial spirits have been awoken as a result of this experience. It’s just the beginning for these highly creative Alphas, and they are all truly winners!
“We’ve had over 1,000 young people attend Trinity Walton Club since we first started three years ago. It has been a privilege to work alongside such creative and inspirational young minds. We are currently recruiting for our club programme and we would encourage second-level students with a curiosity in STEM to get in touch.”
The judging panel for the Ultimate Pitch Event comprised Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland, David Tighe, Head of Skills, Engagement and Statistics, HEA, Dr Vivienne Patterson, and Managing Editor, Silicon Republic, Elaine Burke.
Commenting on the Ultimate Pitch Event, David Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland said: “Bank of Ireland and Trinity College have a long legacy of working together and we are delighted to support Trinity Walton Club, an initiative which succeeds through the talent and enthusiasm of students and staff. We saw some brilliant concepts today and for many it was their first time bringing an idea to life which in itself is an achievement. I would like to commend everybody involved for their commitment and effort.”
The Ultimate Pitch Event and summer workshops were organised by Trinity Walton Club and facilitated by Director of Trinity Walton Club, Dr Arlene Gallagher; Project Architect, Sarah Tully; and Entrepreneur in Residence in Bank of Ireland, Gene Murphy.
For further information about Trinity Walton Club see: http://www.tcd.ie/waltonclub/index.php.