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TCD entrepreneurs seek investors

Wednesday, August 20 12:00:38

Eight teams of budding entrepreneurs are set to graduate from Trinity College Dublin's student incubator, LaunchBox, following a three-month start-up accelerator programme.

The teams of Trinity students (undergraduate and postgraduate) took up residence in the incubator - based in Regent's House above Trinity's front arch - back in June, equipped with early-stage business ideas.

Before they graduate, each team will make a business pitch to potential investors and take part in a Q and A session at this evening's event, which begins at 4 pm in Regent's House, Trinity College.

The incubator has supported the entrepreneurs through the provision of coaching, expert advice, seed funding and access to the space and facilities needed to test out and launch the new ventures. LaunchBox offers an innovative combination of practice and education, under the guidance of the Trinity 'Angels', a network of entrepreneurs and business experts made up of alumni and friends of Trinity.

One team (TouchTech Payments, formerly called Wave), has already signed a E50,000 investment agreement with an investor to help develop its business idea further. TouchTech Payments is an 'm-commerce' payment processor for mobile shopping applications that will enable merchants to make Card Present transactions online for the very first time; consumers using these mobile applications will be able to pay for merchandise using their NFC-enabled debit/credit card, by simply tapping the back of their phone with the card and entering their PIN when prompted.

Team member Joseph Kuye said: "The team and I are really excited about landing our first round of investment, which not only gives us validation for our concept, but also allows us to progress further with our business, both here in Ireland and abroad!"

This year's other teams have sought to deliver investor-ready ventures focused on using mobile phones to gain fashion insights from the immediate environment, to produce a growing online repository for quality teaching resources, to develop a software management system for cataloguing laboratory chemicals, to provide an intelligent system for homes that 'knows' when you need the lights on, to make an industry-leading drink for athletes, to deliver a crowdsourcing social media platform for indie video game developers, and to provide children with a greater flexibility in personalising glasses frames at a significantly reduced price to current retail prices.

Professor Vinny Cahill, Dean of Research at Trinity, said: "The recent successes of our 2013 teams have underlined the benefits of the LaunchBox programme and served to reaffirm Trinity's commitment to producing graduates that can create jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship. LaunchBox gives students the opportunity to nurture their start-ups in an environment that offers guidance and support while encouraging creativity to create real impact for Ireland. Additionally, the Group/Event Management system Hive raised E50k seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and E100k from RTE's Dragon's Den, while Artomatix, which develops tools for automating digital media creation, secured E100k in venture funding.

For more visit: www.businessworld.ie