Tangent TV with Kingsley Aikins: The Power of Networking in a Post-Corona World

Prior to the pandemic, everyone was aware of the critical importance of networking. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, networking has taken on a newfound urgency and significance. In a totally disrupted world, you are going to need your trusted contacts and they are going to need you. However schools and colleges don't teach networking and companies don't have strategies for it.

In this webinar, Kingsley laid out a precise process on how to build and maintain a strong and diverse network, outlining the changes in attitude, behaviour and skills needed to bring this about.

Watch here:


Tangent TV: Personal Branding 

Tangent TV Personal Branding series continues to move from strength to strength. Recently, we interviewed Executive Career Coach, Philip Coffey. As a senior HR professional with over 15 years private, public, multinational consultancy and IBEC advisory experience, Philip brought a wealth of expertise to Tangent TV, encompassing the fields of strategic HR, mentoring, coaching and career development. Having delivered training to over 500 mentors and mentees over the the past 5 years, Philip delivered a stimulating masterclass in leveraging Linkedin and developing mentors to our audience.

Watch here:

                   Tangent Secures Springboard+ Funding 

At a time when innovation has never been more urgent, Tangent has once more been successful in securing funding from the HEA through Springboard for a number of postgraduate certificates. Grounded in innovation and entrepreneurship, these part-time courses take place over 20 weeks and are designed to be delivered online with emphasis on student engagement and group work.

Among other skills and learning outcomes, students will have access to networking opportunities with potential collaborators, mentors and investors. Participants will collaborate across disciplines, bringing together people with diverse yet complementary skill sets and backgrounds. Our Innovation and Enterprise Development programmes empower students to translate their creative and innovative ideas into products, services and policies  while learning the fundamentals of innovation, idea generation, opportunity recognition and enterprise. Finally, students participating in Creative Thinking Innovation & Entrepreneurship will explore their creative potential and acquire a range of transferable skills such as communication, problem solving and personal leadership.

In a time when remote working is a key skill, the online delivery equips participants with the digital skills required for a modern work environment. The programmes investigate a diverse range of innovation topics, innovators and innovation contexts. They analyse theoretical concepts associated with innovation and entrepreneurship. They communicate and interact with multiple stakeholders and work effectively in a multidisciplinary context. The critique the commercial, social and cultural value associated with innovation and evaluate the process involved in bringing an idea through to implementation.

The courses now open for application via the Springboard website are:

Postgraduate Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (Dublin & Galway)

Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Thinking, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation & Enterprise Development (Athlone, Dublin & Wexford)

Tangent TV: Catch Up Now!

Tangent TV: Innovate in Health

Recently, Tangent TV launched its latest series,  Innovate in Healthcare. Our first episode featured recent Trinity graduate, CEO and co-founder of WaytoB, Talita Holzer — a past participant of the Tangent-organised EIT Digital Health Validator Programme. 


Watch here:


Tangent TV: Life Sciences Programme 

Tangent's professional education programme, Digital Transformation in Life Science Manufacturing, is now live and accepting applicants. Recently, we aired a special episode of Tangent TV on the programme with our programme contributors, Derval Kennedy and Barry Curry.

Watch here:

Tangent TV: Tangent Goes Digital

In the latest episode of Tangent TV’s “Tangent Goes Digital” series, find out how Tangent responded to the COVID-19 restrictions and successfully proceeded with our "Creative Thinking & Innovation in Healthcare” programme with students from across the globe from the Singapore Institute of Technology. Tangent's own Alexandra Verbinschi organised the programme this year and was interviewed on this episode of Tangent TV.


Watch here:


LaunchBox 2020: Diary of a Student Entrepreneur Series (Extract)

(L-R: Lauren O’Reilly , co-founder of ProMotion, Pharmacy student; David Weitbrecht, co-founder Rezero, Creative Thinking & Entrepreneurship graduate; Liam Lysaght, co-founder FiltraCycle, Engineering student)

LaunchBox 2020:

This is the eighth year of LaunchBox, but the first year that the programme is running online due to COVID-19. Follow these students on their entrepreneurial journey with LaunchBox’s. Diary of a Student Entrepreneur Blog series! 

Lauren O’Reilly:

I applied to LaunchBox because I’d always envisioned myself being an entrepreneur, without any clarity as to how I’d get there, who could help me, or what my journey would look like. LaunchBox is the ideal place to begin! I believe entrepreneurship is the best way to make, and lead, impactful change in the world. Our startup, ProMotion, will change the way brands interact with consumers, while encouraging a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle through cycling.

I didn’t study business and participating in a programme as incredible as LaunchBox is like a hands-on degree in business and entrepreneurship, with the added benefit of connecting with other creative people in startups, as well as accomplished mentors. For example, one of the speakers I’m really excited to hear from is Claire McHugh, CEO and Founder of Axonista, who, as a successful female entrepreneur, is a role model for me. 

College education teaches you to work independently, however, working on your own start-up is another level of independence. With all areas of the business to address, the most challenging aspect can be deciding where your energy is best focused. I have learned that it is not enough to just be efficient, you also have to be effective in each task you commit yourself to.

Delving headfirst into entrepreneurship during an uncertain time like this, has taught me the fundamentals of what makes a “successful” business. I have observed that those who are able to pivot, adapt, or even use challenges to propel their business, are the ones that come out of any crisis the strongest. I’m looking forward to where it takes me.

Read all the LaunchBox Diaries from part  1 here:


LaunchBox 2020

L-R: Colm Moore (Founder, Optimal Expansion),  Gríana O’Kelly (Partner, Lavelle Partners),  Sean Judge (Senior Business Development Manager, AWS), William Conaghan (Co-Founder & CFO, Change Donations)

Last week was a busy one for us here at LaunchBox; with sessions on everything from B2B sales, to financial and legal requirements, and AWS tech support, we certainly gave the teams a lot to think about! In this blog series we interview the speakers who came to visit and pick their brains for some of the wisdom that they’ve been sharing with our startups:

What is one idea you wish had been yours?

Will: I really like tangible products. There was a business on Shark Tank called the tree-teepee that helped farmers conserve water by funnelling it to their crops. The idea was simple and clean, and his pitch was all about helping farmers. When the sharks tried to get him to increase his selling price he refused because he wanted to protect the farmers. The idea was simple, the need was there, and the impact was evident (reducing water consumption by 30%), but most importantly, he was adamant about prioritising his customer base.

What is your biggest business regret?

Gríana: I have no regrets, every failure or challenge was an opportunity to improve and learn.

Will: We tried to do everything at once rather than slow incremental releases for our product. I wish we had taken it one step at a time rather than lumping all product enhancements into one massive project.

What about one thing you’re currently looking forward to?

Sean: I’m currently planning a golf trip to play some of the best golf courses in Kerry. Planning a trip somewhere other than Tesco is keeping me sane.

Gríana: Definitely being able to travel again.

Will: We are hoping to launch in the US this fall, and that has really consumed all of my forward thinking. I can’t wait to launch in the US, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done before that’s possible.

Who is one person you would love to work with?

Colm: Chamath Palihapitiya (founder of Social Capital)

Will: Jane Goodall

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were 20?

Sean: How to mine Bitcoin. A group of us talked about it in 3rd year of college (2010) but never followed up with actually setting it up.

Will: You’re just as capable as anyone else who starts a business. Be humble about the fact that you need experience, but stay confident in your abilities.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Colm: Be interested, not interesting!

Gríana: Start at the beginning.

Sean: Early in my career I was covering for a colleague while he was on holidays. I ended up having to do a presentation of his budget report to the senior management team — and all of his numbers were wrong. One of the Directors in the room turned to me and said “I know you’re not to blame, but you’re the only one *here* to blame”. It always stuck with me and has made me more accountable throughout my career.

Will: Listen to your mother!

What was the best question you got asked today by our Teams? What was your favourite thing about visiting LaunchBox?

Colm: It was inspiring to see that the problems that teams are trying to solve are truly valuable for people.

Gríana: The standard of ideas and businesses at LaunchBox this year was astounding. I really enjoyed learning about these businesses and interacting with founders to advise on the ways in which they can exploit their ideas commercially and the best legal structures to achieve this. It was great to see a move towards product development and simple trading ideas that can lean on technology while still retaining their own stand alone identity.

Sean: I was really impressed by everyone’s ambition. Every question focused on raising funds, becoming a big business and doing this all at pace.

Will: It’s always great to come back to LaunchBox. The energy is always high, and the passion is almost overwhelming. I think the best part about LaunchBox is that is helps give structure to chaos. Startups are complete chaos early on, and you need help putting processes and structure in place. LaunchBox keeps provides structure without inhibiting creativity. It helps you direct your passion and energy into a positive and intentional direction.

Colm is the founder of Optimal Expansion, a firm which specialises in supporting Series A companies to scale their revenues. He was in talking and offering advice to our teams about B2B sales.

Gríana is a corporate and commercial solicitor specialising in mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity investment structures for start up entities and small and medium sized companies. She was in offering legal advice and support to our startups.

Sean, a senior business development manager, specialising in startups is an old friend of the LaunchBox programme and an active member of Dublin’s startup scene through his work with UpStarter. He came to offer our teams his advice from his experiences and support with AWS.

Will, one half of the extraordinary Change Donations founding team, was unfortunately unable to make the session with our teams this year. His business partner Lizzy was in telling their story and offering advice about life after LaunchBox. 


Read the full article:

                                    Launchpad: Summer Fellowship

Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars created the Summer Startup Fellowship this year in response to obstacles created, and elevated, by the coronavirus pandemic for current college students and recent graduates. These challenges include reduced and withdrawn job and internship opportunities (as many as 52% according to one survey), canceled and postponed pitch competitions and entrepreneurship summer programming, and increased financial pressure on students.  The 50 student entrepreneurs with the most promising and innovative ideas were selected for this Fellowship from over 330 applications from nearly every one of the 24 LaunchPad network colleges and universities - 3 current LaunchBox teams were selected!


Blackstone Charitable Foundation has committed more than $250,000 to support this initiative. Those selected will receive $5,000 in non-dilutive grant funding from Future Founders to support their time working on advancing their startup companies.


Read here: 


      COVID-19 Workplace Wellness Working Group Update 

In mid-May, Trinity announced that the target date for returning to campus had been set for the 10th August. 

Responding to this, Tangent established the Workplace Wellness Group in order to devise a plan of action with regards to returning and the measures that will need to happen before we can safely return. There are many actions that need to happen however we will continue to follow government and college advice and guidelines. Consequently, the group is meeting on a weekly basis. Planning has already begun to ensure that a robust plan will be in place with the safety of staff as the number one priority.

The working group aims to ensure our safety as we tentatively look forward to returning to the Space. Between now and August 10th each member of staff will have the opportunity to raise concerns and challenges about returning. Cognisant of the fact that all staff have individual circumstances, staff are asked to talk to their line manager to explore ways in which Tangent can assist at this time. In addition, staff are reminded that they can talk to any member of the Workplace Wellness Group. The Workplace Wellness group continues to liaising with HR on a Trinity-wide Return to Work policy. Once this happens, Tangent will develop a flexible working policy for the unit.


                            Tangent EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator

Spanning 21 locations across 14 countries, Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace is running the Irish Accelerator programme for Climate-KIC. As a European knowledge and innovation community, EIT Climate-KIC is working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy and is the only EU acceleration programme focused on climate impact by cleantech commercialisation. In three stages, this 12-month program brings cleantech start-ups the knowledge, resources, tools and the coaching they need for success.

The second stage is now nearing completion, after which 5 start ups will move to the final stage 3. 

Link to Stage 2 Cohort Bios:


Healthcare Innovation:

Tangent is currently running an EIT Health-funded Healthcare Innovation module for PhD students working and researching in the area of health. This module is being delivered entirely through the Zoom platform and began on 22nd June. We have students from Trinity College Dublin, Imperial College London, University of Coimbra, Medical University of Lodz, University of Porto, University of Lisbon represented.

Our students on this module are researching a range of topics, from medicine to nutrition, health science to neuroscience, and gerontology to the epidemiology of aging. Students on this module have been exploring the application of innovation and design thinking/UX design to healthcare technology to solve real-world problems in healthcare relating to the current global health pandemic.

We have been amazed by the extremely high standard of work conducted so far by student teams, and look forward to the myriad of innovative solutions and projects that the students will present in an upcoming live online pitch event. We have an experienced expert judging panel lined up for this event, comprised of Ms Jackie Breen (mentor, lecturer, Tangent alumni), Ms Anne Connolly (CEO of SALLI - Smart Ageing Living Labs of Ireland) and Professor Roman Romero-Ortuno, Consultant of Medical Gerontology, TCD).

Undergraduate Certificate: Agility in Action

This September, Tangent is proud to once more offer the Undergraduate Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (10 ECTS) - open to 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates registered at Trinity College Dublin from every School and discipline. Responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UG Cert continues to exemplify Tangent’s entrepreneurial agility — the delivery of the course now set to be carried out online and will be adapted to suit the undergraduate timetable. 

                                      Tangent Opportunities to Partner 

Trinity College is recognised as the number one university in Europe for producing student entrepreneurs. Tangent is Trinity’s innovation and entrepreneurial hub. Established a short 18 months ago, Tangent provides the skills for individuals and organisations to be more adaptable and agile in an age of unprecedented technological, economic and societal change.

Tangent operates independently of all schools in Trinity, a strategic choice which ensures adaptability and agility in responding to the changing human capital needs of Ireland’s enterprise community.

Our activities have generated substantial impact (see above). We are planning an impressive set of initiatives over the coming years, scaling our ambition to ensure that Ireland not only responds to opportunities in these uncertain times but is at the forefront of creating opportunities, jobs and social and economic impact for our nation.


Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and we cannot do this alone. As a self-financing organisation we depend on the support of many stakeholders to help us realise our ambitions. We partner with companies large and small who play an active role working with our startups, our students, and on our education and training programmes. Come talk to us - together we can explore new possibilities.

Contact Aine Phelan:

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