Tangent, Trinity’s programme to support business start-ups, have announced this morning that they will invest €6 million in the projects of aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs by 2020.
A large proportion of the money is being supplied by Tangent’s main sponsor, Bank of Ireland.
The new Tangent workspace, which is located in the newly built Business School was officially launched today by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen and the Provost, Patrick Prendergast.
The new facility, which College states had been “specifically designed to foster the creation of ideas”, includes co-working areas and a space to host events.
Speaking at the launch, the Provost said that cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship “is central to our education mission”.
He noted that Trinity, “is responsible for generating a fifth of all spin-out companies and is ranked number one in Europe for educating entrepreneurs”. Adding that Tangent “provides a creative home with the right supports and investment to enable budding entrepreneurs to share ideas and succeed.”
CEO of Tangent, Ken Finnegan, added: “When you consider 67% of all new job creation comes from businesses in the first five years and small businesses make up 99% of the enterprise community; our goal in Tangent is to enable and foster this ambition.”
11 start-up companies will take part this evening in Tangent’s “Launchbox” programme. Each will be required to make a business pitch to an expert panel of judges, who will at the end choose a winner.
The winner will receive €3,500 in prize money and office space in Dogpatch labs.
Among the start-ups that Trinity’s Tangent programme has produced in the past are: Foodcloud, a social enterprise that helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it; Touchtech, a payment processing venture; Artomatix,which develops tools for automating digital media creation; and Change Donations, which allows users to round up your everyday purchases to the next euro and donate spare change to charitable causes.
Minister of State, Pat Breen, said at the launch that is is “acutely aware of the importance of innovation and its contribution to our economy”, stating that he fully supports “this new and exciting addition to Trinity College Dublin’s world class innovation and entrepreneurship education programme”.
He noted that “Ireland is ranked 12th out of 126 countries in the Global Innovation Index”, stating that with “educational support and investment in place through the Trinity Ideas Workplace, we can expect to move up the rankings in the near future”.