Trinity’s Tangent launches online incubator for innovative start-up ideas

4 Nov 2021

Trinity provost Prof Linda Doyle and Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland. Image: Naoise Culhane

TCD provost Linda Doyle said that the platform would bring together the ‘best and brightest innovators Ireland has to offer’.

Tangent, the ideas workspace at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), has launched a new initiative to help turn social and commercial business ideas into entrepreneurial ventures.

The online Open Incubator platform is free to use and has been developed in response to high demand from Tangent’s network of participants in its national innovation ecosystem.

Future Human

The platform is open to Irish third-level students as well as members of the public who have innovative business ideas in fields ranging from climate and sustainability to artificial intelligence and the creative arts.

“Tangent’s work has been pivotal in securing Trinity’s position as European leader in student entrepreneurship, and the Open Incubator really is an extension of this great work and pedigree,” TCD provost Linda Doyle said at the launch.

“This dynamic entrepreneurial network will further Trinity’s reach and consolidate its innovation efforts by creating a digital platform for the best and brightest innovators Ireland has to offer.”

‘Game changer’ for student entrepreneurship

Members of the incubator, launched in partnership with Bank of Ireland, will have the opportunity to be selected for a Tangent start-up showcase that will connect promising ventures with investors and pathways to scale their business.

“As we look to a post-Covid future that must be radically different and more sustainable, fostering more collaboration and the generation of new ideas about how we work, live, learn and do business is more important than ever,” said Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh.

In August, Tangent teamed up with the Trinity Walton Club, a STEM club for secondary school students, to launch an incubator for young people called STEAM+ICE (science, technology, engineering, art, maths, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship).

It also runs LaunchBox, a student accelerator programme where new entrepreneurs are provided with funding, expert mentorship and collaborative exercises in order to develop their business start-ups, as well as an AI-focused accelerator programme.

Tangent CEO Ken Finnegan said that its new Open Incubator combines best practice in start-up community development to create an innovation model that puts students first, calling it a “game changer” for Irish student entrepreneurship.

“It will empower them to collaborate on shared passions and develop solutions at their own pace while leveraging peer-to-peer support,” he said.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic