Trinity entrepreneurs tap into US startup scene

Posted on: 22 October 2018

Six Trinity student and alumni-created startups will this week tap into the stateside market as the first ever ‘Tangent Pioneers’ international accelerator programme launches. The programme will ensure six award-winning startups will develop new contacts and mentors in the US while learning how to operate in a very different and more competitive market. The programme is being led by ‘Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace’, which is an exciting, recently launched initiative at Trinity College Dublin that is supported by Bank of Ireland.     

Tangent, based in Trinity, provides cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship education; start-up company acceleration programmes; innovation and entrepreneurship community events; and supports for fledgling to mature entrepreneurs all across Ireland and beyond. The Tangent Pioneers programme represents one of the first forays into the global entrepreneurship ecosystem by these Irish startups.

Left to right are: Ciara Hennessy (Greener Globe), Dr Patrick Prendergast (Provost of Trinity College Dublin), Michael McLoughlin (Head of Business Banking, Dublin Central at Bank of Ireland), and Anika Riley (Work Smarter).

Ranked number one university in Europe for graduate entrepreneurship by Pitchbook 18/19, Trinity is now internationalising its entrepreneurial programmes, giving student and graduate entrepreneurs access to the one of the best ecosystems in the world to develop their new businesses.

Gavan Drohan, Head of Student Entrepreneurship at Trinity, said:

It has been hugely inspiring to see how far these six startups have come over the last year. We are grateful for all the support we are receiving on this trip and are excited to see how the US market responds to some really innovative solutions.

Over the course of the five-day programme (which runs from October 22 to October 26), Trinity startups will engage with a diverse mix of US startups, alumni and recruiters.  Events will begin with a welcome session at the Bank of Ireland Innovation Lab in New York. In addition to a unique workspace and environment, the programme will let these startups benefit from personalised coaching and support from business leaders. As the week progresses, the startups will spend time with Techstars NYC (a global network with access to over 1,500,000 founders, investors, mentors, and industry leaders); meet with Oisín Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of Handy; interact with Blackstone mentors; meet representatives of Enterprise Ireland; and deliver pitches to potential investors.

Speaking of the Tangent Pioneers international programme launch, Michael McLoughlin, Head of Business Banking, Dublin Central at Bank of Ireland, said:

Bank of Ireland is proud to partner with Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, on this unique week-long international innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator. Critical to any business success is understanding both the challenges and opportunities of new markets, and with this ambitious programme Trinity demonstrates an expansive commitment to fostering next-generation entrepreneurship. This commitment is similarly very much at the heart of the work we do at our Workbenches and Innovation Lab Programmes both at home and internationally.  We extend a warm welcome to the Tangent 2018 teams and alumni, and Trinity faculty to our Innovation Lab New York and wish all involved every continued entrepreneurial success.

The six startups travelling to New York comprise an ethical fashion brand (Nu.); an app-based medicine log for thoroughbred racehorses (Equine MediRecord); a seaweed harvesting business (SeaPunk); a social enterprise that helps users donate to charities (Change Donations); a digital solution to streamline the paperwork involved in the construction industry (Work Smarter); and an environmentally friendly startup that produces ‘green’ shower-heads (Greener Globe). You can read more about the startups below:

Nu. is an innovative ethical fashion community aiming to reinvent the way we shop. The creators believe in looking great without the environmental and social costs. Nu. runs creative and innovative events in Dublin with a focus on raising awareness of the harms of fast fashion, while providing a fun, stylish and affordable alternative. The objective is to make ethical and sustainable fashion the norm.

Equine MediRecord develops, sells and maintains a mobile application and website to allow proper recording of medicines administered to racehorses and other bloodstock. This is the first application of its type. The team aims to provide this digital service throughout Ireland before expanding into Europe and worldwide.  

SeaPunk is a father/son business that harvests Ireland’s finest wild seaweed to create simple, natural and easy to use products.

Change Donations is a free app bringing charities into the digital age. The platform allows users to donate in an efficient, convenient, and pain-free way. Change gives users the ability to round all credit/debit card transactions to the nearest euro and donate those roundups to one or several charities of their choosing. Change’s platform tracks and categorises each user’s donations so they can easily see their impact.

Work Smarter offers a comprehensive toolbox for small business owners and freelancers that combines work management tools and a unique escrow payment solution. The construction industry is notorious for late payments and freelancers and smaller companies often struggle with the burden of paperwork. These issues are combated by Work Smarter’s solution.

Greener Globe produces and sells a revolutionary LED-timed shower-head. It is a student-run, international award-winning, environmentally friendly business. The showerhead, Aquacica, is designed to save the consumer water and money in an efficient and user-friendly way. Greener Globe hopes to expand to other water-saving devices in the near future.

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