Trinity’s new start-up programme is looking for founders

3 Sep 2021

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The Trinity Founders programme is seeking commercial enterprises as well as social enterprise start-ups.

Start-up programmes, incubators and accelerators all offer different benefits for entrepreneuers.

Some offer specific expertise in certain industries, while others have connections to academic research.

Now, Trinity Business School and Trinity Research and Innovation are joining forces to launch the Trinity Founders programme, which aims to bridge the gap between high-potential start-ups and investors, while maintaining an academic link to a third-level institution.

The programme is designed for people who want to start a business from a university environment.

It is looking for dedicated founders or founder teams of up to three people. The start-ups can be commercial enterprises as well as social enterprise start-ups focused on sustainable development goals and deep societal impact.

The programme will officially launch in December 2021 and will be delivered part-time over six months. Interested founders do not need to be affiliated with Trinity College Dublin to apply.

Declan Weldon is deputy director and head of the office of corporate partnership and knowledge exchange in Trinity College Dublin. He said the programme aims to directly address a challenge that can often exist when generating high-performance start-ups from universities: “The limited supply of experienced, networked founders.”

Weldon explained: “The focus is on building a community of founders who themselves become the nexus of executive talent for the pipeline of opportunities generated by Trinity academics.”

Spin-outs and start-ups within universities often come from academic research and may involve deep-tech or disruptive offerings that require different commercialisation models compared to other start-ups.

According to start-up development manager Neil Gordon, the Trinity Founders programme aims to bring together the key elements of successful university spin-outs such as excellent research and highly experienced teams, along with access to funders who are experts in deep-tech companies.

ICT commercialisation manager John Whelan added that it’s not “just another start-up programme sticking Post-its on glass walls”.

“It builds on the approach used by programmes such as Founder.University, Y Combinator and Techstars but applies it to research-based spin-outs.”

Founders and start-up teams can find out more information about the course on the Trinity Business School website.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic