TCD’s Entrepreneurship Training Programme for Students, Researchers and Entrepreneurs Launched

Posted on: 02 October 2008

The TCD Entrepreneurship Training Programme for students, researchers and entrepreneurs cuts to the heart of the Government’s goals for creating a modern, dynamic knowledge economy. This was stated by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins, at the  launch of the annual programme now in its sixth year on October 2 last.

“This is a programme which cuts to the heart of the Government’s goals for creating a modern, dynamic knowledge economy. The Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation makes it clear that the only future for Irish business is to move up the value chain,” said  Minister Devins.

“Recent years have seen a sea change in how entrepreneurs are viewed in this country.  We now tune into television programmes such as Dragon’s Den, and are particularly interested when Irish entrepreneurs make their pitch.  It has become cool to be an entrepreneur, and this new found respect for our risk takers is most welcome.”

The main aim of the  programme sponsored by Trinity Research & Innovation and the Dublin City Enterprise Board, is to  assist entrepreneurs with starting and growing a high potential business from the development of  ideas to new commercial ventures.

Trinity has a long tradition of creating  knowledge intensive  spin-off  companies such as Havok, Crème Software, Machine Vision Technology. Today’s participants can learn from the experiences of previous entrepreneurs by attending the training programme, a series of workshops  that inspire with the stories of Irish and international entrepreneurs  as well as addressing  real project  problems through  brainstorming sessions.

“This programme is a must for postgraduates who wish to engage in the management and exploitation of innovations in their future employment whether in government, business of any size, or  socially-targetted projects”, stated Dr James Callaghan, Associate Director of Trinity Research & Innovation. “The programme which is also supported by the Dublin City Enterprise Board will widen the understanding of entrepreneurship across the campus, and stimulate the idea of starting a new venture among a key group of the young population.”

The structure of the programme has been developed on the basis of international best practice in the field of entrepreneurship education. TCD is a member of the CLUSTER Entrepreneurship Group linking universities in Europe, and also through Stanford’s Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Education  (REE) programme to expertise across the United States. The programme’s star attraction, however, is the cohort of former students and lecturers who contribute their time each year such as Sean O’Neill, co-founder of MVT, Cronan McNamara, co-founder of Crème Software Ltd,   Igor Chvets, co-founder of two campus spin-offs, Deerac Fluidics and Cellix Ltd.

The School of Business is this year supporting the programme formally, and its staff contribute through marketing and team building workshops. The School of Drama provides training in communications skills. Externally the venture capital community, the Dublin Business Innovation Centre, and UCC and NUI Galway through the Strategic Innovation Fund contribute to the learning process.