Ten teams of student entrepreneurs teams have started Trinity’s accelerator programme Launchbox, Ireland’s most successful student accelerator programme. They are now seeking investment to grow.
Now in its sixth year, LaunchBox is a place where students can start a business and receive mentorship, funding, and access to alumni and investors.
Since its start in 2013, LaunchBox has helped 50 student ventures. The businesses that continued have created 122 jobs and raised €6.3 million in investment and funding.
“LaunchBox is an opportunity for students to work on their business idea with mentors over the summer. It is a real opportunity for our students to showcase why Trinity is number one in Europe for producing entrepreneurs,” says Fionnuala Healy, CEO Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub, Trinity College Dublin.
Paul Allen, student founder of BOP (Biological Optical Prevention) and his teammates Ekaterina (Kate) Lait and David Ola (pictured main image) met as members of the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society. They believe their business has enormous potential for identifying, preventing and treating health care-associated infections (HAIs).
“I had family members who passed away due to HAIs, so the idea has been in process for two years. The visual nature of our product is its USP and it makes it more effective,” says Allen. Upon making contact with a surface their product changes colour depending on the pathogens present. This allows medical staff to identify the pathogen, eliminate them and disinfect the area.
Successful alumni of LaunchBox include social enterprise Foodcloud, which helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it; Touchtech, a payment processing firm; Artomatix, which develops tools for automating digital media creation; and Equine MediRecord, which digitises the medical records for the multi-billion-euro horse racing industry’s equine stars.
“LaunchBox’s focus on early-stage business development, and on empowering entrepreneurship and collaboration, is hugely important for our communities and through our community programmes Bank of Ireland continues to support this mission,” says David Tighe, head of enterprise and innovation, Bank of Ireland.
The 2018 LaunchBox teams
Applaud is an online booking platform for performers that offers them a free online portfolio, access to discounted production services and more bookings via their website.
BOP (Biological Optical Prevention) aims to identify, prevent and treat healthcare-associated infections. Upon making contact with a surface their product changes colour depending on the pathogens present before eliminating them and disinfecting the area.
Dockit is a mobile application for waiters/waitresses that makes taking an order easy, quick and insightful. The educational and assistive platform aims to reduce waste, improve sales, and increase customer satisfaction and overall restaurant efficiency.
EnableArm is an innovative assistive facial care device, which restores independence to people with limited manual dexterity. The team is currently focused on developing an independent shaving device, and also plans to branch out their creative design into make-up and facial cream application markets, among others, in the future.
Fumi is a commercial startup with a social mission: to help reduce the overconsumption of single-use plastics. Co-founded by two female MSc candidates, the vision is to provide a practical, compact and sustainable water bottle that doesn’t compromise on style. “Our business is at a very early stage so we are looking forward to working on a prototype and discovering new materials that would suit the product,” says Naomi Harrington.
Greener Globe produces and sells a revolutionary LED-timed shower-head. It is a student-run, international award-winning, environmentally friendly business. The shower-head Aquacica is designed to save water and money in an efficient and user-friendly manner. Greener Globe hope to expand to other water-saving devices in the near future.
Luminary Hub is a platform that allows SMEs to outsource work at affordable prices. They have built a network of the best students, providing them with flexible, well-paid employment in their fields of study. Luminary Hub currently creates websites, graphics and multi-media; going forward they will branch into STEM, law and business and languages.
Change is a free app that is bringing charities into the digital age by creating a platform that allows users to donate in an efficient, convenient, and pain-free way. RoundUp 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. RoundUp’s platform tracks and categorises each user’s donations so they can easily see their impact.
Seashore Veg is a father-son business that harvests Ireland’s finest wild seaweed to create simple, natural and easy-to-use products.
The construction industry is notorious for late payments, and freelancers and smaller companies often struggle with the burden of paperwork. To combat these issues, Work Smarter will offer a comprehensive toolbox for small business owners and freelancers that combines work management tools and a unique escrow payment solution.