Innovation Workspace set to deliver €6 million in investment

Minister of State, Pat Breen and CEO of Tangent, Ken Finnegan at the launch of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace.

Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, a new cutting-edge innovation facility, co-located in the Trinity College Business School, has been officially launched by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Mr. Pat Breen, TD.

Supported by the university’s Innovation Partner, Bank of Ireland, the new innovation space will invest €6 million in aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs by 2020. The space will be the home to all of Trinity’s world class innovation supports and education programmes and is open to all students, alumni, entrepreneurs and innovators. The new facility has being specifically designed to foster the creation of ideas, with flexible workspaces and event space providing for co-working and innovation for all.

Speaking at the launch today, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast said;

“Cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship is central to our education mission. Trinity is responsible for generating a fifth of all spin-out companies and is ranked number one in Europe for educating entrepreneurs.  Trinity is also a proud member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a unique EU initiative that boosts innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.  Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace provides a creative home with the right supports and investment to enable budding entrepreneurs to share ideas and succeed.”

 

CEO of Tangent, Ken Finnegan, added:

“When you consider 67% of all new job creation comes from businesses in the first five years and small businesses make up 99% of the enterprise community; our goal in Tangent is to enable and foster this ambition. Trinity Ideas Workplace will invest €6 million in talented entrepreneurs by 2020. This is an exciting start to an ambitious overall strategy to establish a globally competitive innovation district in Dublin, including plans for a campus at Grand Canal Quay.”

L-R Anna Rafferty-Lynam, Bélú; Charlie Butler, Bounce Insights; Ken Finnegan, CEO of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace; Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, and Katelyn Prendiville, Two White Socks.

Trinity’s Tangent programme has already produced many successful student-led entrepreneurs including Foodcloud, a social enterprise that helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it; Touchtech, a payment processing venture; Artomatix,which develops tools for automating digital media creation; Equine MediRecord, which digitises the medical records of the multi-billion-euro horse racing industry’s equine stars; and Change Donations, which allows users to round up your everyday purchases to the next euro and donate spare change to the causes that mean the most to each donor.

Following in their footsteps are 11 start-up companies that are taking part in Trinity’s LaunchBox programme. To coincide with the launch of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, the companies will take part in a competitive pitch process this evening in front of an expert panel of judges. The winner will receive €3,500 in prize money, office space in Dogpatch labs, and a place on the international accelerator programme Tangent Pioneer.   Tangent Pioneers takes Trinity student startups international offering the valuable opportunity to learn how to operate in a different (more competitive) market.  The four-day international programme will commence on October 25th, 2019. Bank of Ireland’s Innovation Lab New York will host the programme.

One of these companies is Bélú, a start-up co-founded by two Engineering graduates Anna Rafferty-Lynam and Alex Shackleton. Started initially as a Master’s project, Anna and Alex have since developed a unique computer vision technology product to analyse and reduce food waste in the hospitality and food sector.

Speaking about the benefits of the product Ms Rafferty-Lynam, said:

“Food waste is the third largest contributor of harmful CO2 emissions. Often, food such as sandwiches and burgers automatically come with a side of chips or salad, which tend to end up in the bin. Our product works by tracking food waste and allowing chefs and managers to order more effectively and reduce portion sizes if required. It not only saves companies time, effort and money in terms of food preparation and meals, but it will reduce food going to landfill which is ultimately better for our environment.”

 

Minister of State, Mr Pat Breen, said:

“I fully support this new and exciting addition to Trinity College Dublin’s world class innovation and entrepreneurship education programme. In my role as Minister, I am acutely aware of the importance of innovation and its contribution to our economy. Educating and mentoring future innovators and entrepreneurs is crucial if we are to stay ahead in an ever-changing global market. Ireland is ranked 12thout of 126 countries in the Global Innovation Index and with educational support and investment in place through the Trinity Ideas Workplace, we can expect to move up the rankings in the near future.”