Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneurship Programme at Trinity Gets Going

Posted on: 18 February 2016

From Ideas to Product – Supporting Student Entrepreneurs

LaunchPad Helps Trinity Student Entrepreneur License first Digital Student ID Card for Smartphones

The Blackstone LaunchPad campus entrepreneurship programme for students at Trinity College Dublin was officially launched with the opening of its new bespoke venue at the Berkeley Library today.

It follows the announcement last summer by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s €2 million grant for the entrepreneurship programme in collaboration with Trinity, NUIG and UCC.

Blackstone LaunchPad at Trinity will foster student entrepreneurs, connecting them with business and provide them with the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the launch of Blackstone LaunchPad at Trinity, new executive director, John Whelan said:

“This new space is a very welcome addition to the already existing supports for student entrepreneurs at Trinity. Based at the epicentre of Trinity, the renowned Berkeley Library, it will be accessible to all Trinity students across all disciplines. We will inspire students to grow their ideas into viable businesses through mentoring, support, ideation and venture creation. This will be accomplished by leveraging peer insights and unlocking the power of the Trinity network. Students will also be able to access the growing Blackstone LaunchPad global network of entrepreneurs in other universities.”

Trinity student entrepreneur Finn Murphy who in partnership with Trinity IT Services  developed a Trinity student card for smartphones, the first of its kind in Ireland, described his experience:

“Thanks to the guidance of the Blackstone LaunchPad team I am now in the final stages of arranging a license agreement with the College so that we can develop this venture and bring our unique service to other institutions across the country. I hope that the investment being made today, and further investments made in encouraging entrepreneurship at Trinity will continue to create more stories like my own.”

The product was supported and developed by the College through IT Services and a team of students led by a Trinity computer scientist.

From idea to product, Trinity is now the first University in Ireland to launch its own digital student card.

Pictured on the occasion of the launch are: Trinity Student Entrepreneur, Finn Murphy with Blackstone LaunchPad Executive Director at Trinity, John Whelan, Mentor for student entrepreneurs, businessman (Partner at Draper Esprit), Brian Caulfield Librarian and College and Archivist, Helen Shenton

Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast who personally championed its development said:

“We want to support more student entrepreneurs like Finn through programmes such as these. Trinity, with our long tradition of bridging the academic and entrepreneurship communities, is committed to educating students not just to get a job but to create jobs too.  Our Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is about creating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded graduates.  We believe that by acting as a focal point for innovation and education in Dublin city centre, Trinity can help support the growth of entrepreneurship across the economy.  Blackstone LaunchPad is one of a range of initiatives at Trinity that will enable our students to do that.”

Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton added: “We are especially delighted to be hosting this new LaunchPad space. It is a great example of how Library spaces can be reimagined and is in keeping with our overall vision for the Library to be at the core of the Trinity community, providing increasingly diverse facilities and partnerships.”

Notes to Editor

Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship programme open to students, alumni, staff and faculty offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. It is modelled on a successful programme originated at the University of Miami and was further developed and expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.”

  • Empower students while they are in college to build on their ideas; gain skills that will be useful to them in employment, and contribute meaningfully to the economy.
  • Connects student and entrepreneurs through campus-based activities.
  • Job creation and boosts to the economy through increased startup and entrepreneurship activity.
  • Experiential learning, including contributions to program innovation.
  • Global network of partner organisations and universities that are connected through the Blackstone LaunchPad network. This enables virtual networking and offers participating students access to resources from across the world.


Media Contact:

Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn, Head of Library Communications | | +353 1 896 4710