Tangential Opportunities: Trinity’s Idea Workspace

John Fink

If you’ve walked through the Berkley Library, and looked to your right as you entered the front door, you may have seen a small room with a lot of blue posters put up around it. This small room may seem innocuous, but actually, it’s a really cool place. Until May 27th of this year, when they move to the new business school, that room is the home of Tangent: Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, A multi-disciplinary, college wide entrepreneurship and innovation initiative. The Tangent program offers several resources that extend far beyond the small borders of the room; If you’re the budding entrepreneurial type, or maybe you never though of yourself as an innovator but have an idea that you think is good, then you’ll absolutely want to stop into the Tangent room or give a look to their website.

ClassesFor current TCD undergrad and postgrad students, the Tangent workspace offers an inexpensive certification in innovation. The class is broken up into two modules (Creative thinking, and Entrepreneurial action) taken over 10 sessions each in Michelmas and Hilary Term, half online/half in person. The class is free for PHD and master’s students, and costs €100 for the Undergraduates. It covers topics like design thinking, group communication, project management, creating a business model, and more.
Mentorship ProgramsFor those who already know how to innovate, The Tangent workspace is also home to several mentorship programs that will help guide the development of your idea into a scalable business model. These programs each concern themselves with a different section of the student body:

  1. Blackstone Launchpad – The most general purpose of the mentorship programs, Blackstone Launchpad is accessible by over 500k people globally, and is designed for the benefit of not just students, but staff and alumni as well. This program helps to develop entrepreneurial skills and successful habits and they run several events throughout the year like innovation challenges.
  2. Women Who Wow – A female oriented business mentorship program that believes that Trinity’s entrepreneurial portfolio is enhanced by a more equal gender ratio. Women Who Wow starts annually in November, members meet for mentoring once a month and are highly encouraged to apply for the Trinity LaunchBox accelerator.
  3. Entrepreneurs to the Arts – An entrepreneurial program for all those students in the Arts and Humanities who never considered themselves to be an Entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs in the Arts wants anyone with an interest in critical thinking and creative problem solving to see what ideas they can come up with the help the world around them.

Accelerators & IncubatorsTangent also offers several platforms that a partially developed business idea can proliferate from. These platforms seek to connect the innovator with a network of investors, mentors, support structures, and channels to market:

  1. LaunchBox Accelerator – A summer program open to teams of students in the initial phases of their business plan. LaunchBox provides a top-class structured program for developing your idea in to a legitimate business model.
  2. Digital Health Validators – A full time, intensive incubator platform, that over two months helps to promote digital health innovations thought up by the student body.
  3. Climate – A green technologies incubator that seeks to transform innovative climate solutions into sustainable business models.
  4. Smart ageing – An eight week ‘bootcamp’ intended for those who want to introduce innovative products to the market of elder care.

Worth a look?That doesn’t even cover everything that is offered by the Tangent workspace. They host several events that take place all year long, including talks, presentations, hackathons and more. In just a few months they’ll have moved to a newer, larger accommodation in the Business school, and presumably will be able to do even more cool stuff with the increased space, so go give it a look. If you’ve got an idea that you think is worth sharing, or you want to be the kind of person that comes up with ideas that are worth sharing, then it couldn’t hurt you to try some of the resources offered by Tangent.
Check it out at: https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/

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