The inventors of Field of Vision – a groundbreaking handheld device allowing visually impaired individuals to feel the action of live sport – have been announced as the winners of LaunchBox 2021, the annual student entrepreneurship competition hosted at Trinity.
The winners comprised one of 10 student entrepreneur teams, who sought investment from venture capitalists and angel investors last Friday at the conclusion of LaunchBox 2021.
The LaunchBox final, known as Demo Day, saw the 10 shortlisted teams pitch their companies to seek support to accelerate their start-ups. A myriad of industries were represented by the young entrepreneurs on the day, from digital health and book publishing to zero-waste plastics.
LaunchBox, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and managed by Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, provides students with mentorship, funding, access to alumni and investors, and a collaborative environment to launch new ventures.
Following an application period which saw overwhelming interest, 10 teams collectively representing nine Trinity Schools were selected to partake in the programme, the oldest of its kind in Ireland.
After pitching and answering questions from a panel of esteemed judges, this year’s winning team was announced as Field of Vision; furniture upcycling app ReFunk and yacht parking and fee management start-up Park Turtle finished in second and third places respectively. The top three teams will receive cash prizes, as well as co-working space to further their businesses.
LaunchBox has evolved into an accelerator of global impact, and many programme alumni have developed viable businesses across a wide range of sectors. Since 2013, the student ventures involved have created approximately 278 jobs and raised over €73.2 million in investment and funding.
LaunchBox alumni companies include social enterprise Foodcloud, which helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it, Touchtech Payments, a payment-processing venture that was acquired by Stripe in 2019, and Equine MediRecord, which digitises the medical records of the multi-billion-euro horse racing industry’s equine stars.
Speaking at Demo Day, Ken Finnegan,Tangent CEO said:
“At Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, we emphasise the importance of agility and innovation in all of our courses and programmes, and it has never been more necessary and important than in the current climate. Both the LaunchBox programme and the LaunchBox startups have demonstrated unparalleled flexibility and innovation in the move to a fully online programme and are a testament to the culture of creativity and adaptability here in Trinity.”
Michael McLoughlin, Head of Mobile Sales Force at Bank of Ireland, said:
“Trinity is known as a community of innovators, and this reputation is undoubtedly sustained thanks in no small part to LaunchBox. Bank of Ireland is delighted to champion Ireland’s next gen entrepreneurs, and I look forward to seeing what’s next for the winning team.”
LaunchBox 2021 – the 10 teams
Diglot is a revenue-generating language learning and book publishing company. They take classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes and weave foreign words into the English sentences.
Field Of Vision is a device that enables visually impaired football fans to experience live sport. They use computer vision to track the location of the ball on the pitch and translate it to a moving finger-piece on the device, enabling the action to be felt in real time.
Fonz Music uses a physical product, a Fonz Coaster, and their in-house app to simplify song requests. HOSTs connect their Spotify to the Fonz Coaster. Their GUESTs then tap the coaster to join the session, search up & select a song, and then tap the coaster again, automatically queuing that song to their HOST’s Spotify, just like a jukebox. lawyer.
Live for today & prepare for tomorrow. One Sure Thing is End-of-Life planning made easy. A digital planning assistant for customers to organise all their wishes and vital documents in one secure online safe.
Park Turtle enables yacht clubs to manage their boat parking and seasonal fees all in one smart software. With space at a premium, clubs need to optimise their parking to maximise their revenue.
fikiLABS is the most sustainable alternative to single use plastics, made from seaweed. Unlike other bioplastics, fikiLABS is carbon negative, doesn’t require industrial composting, and results in zero waste. fikiLABS makes money by selling the raw material and innovative biodegradable plastic pro
QRx is an end to end healthcare SaaS solution with a focus on optimising prescription management for healthcare providers whilst improving patient compliance. QRx leverages the newest in blockchain technology to provide a scalable, flexible, and decentralised application.
10m tonnes of furniture are discarded annually in the EU, while IKEA accounts for 0.1% of the world’s carbon emissions. ReFunk is a platform that facilitates a three-stage furniture upcycling process. The Donator lists an unwanted item on the app, The Upcycler collects the item, upcycles it as they see fit, and lists it on the app to be sold to The Buyer.
UniPeer is a platform for university students experiencing loneliness. It facilitates peer-to-peer support, connecting students through shared experiences and interests. In essence, the platform will act as a support group for university students. The platform is unique because it addresses the issue of loneliness in a university setting.
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