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Christmas Newsletter:  
CEO of Tangent, Trinity's Ideas Workspace


Dear Reader,
 
As we all wind down after an unprecedented year, the Tangent team and I would like to start by wishing you all a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. I would also like to thank Team Tangent for their tenacity, resilence, and agility. 
 
Here at Tangent, the last few weeks have been busier than ever for us, witnessing many more highlights and achievements across the team. Indeed, despite the numerous challenges posed by the restrictions, the 2020/21 term has seen a number of firsts for us! From launching Tangent’s first privately funded accelerator Alsessor with Altada Solutions to hosting several events with Red Bull and UPS, to launching Tangent's new Digital Transformation in Life Sciences Manufacturing programme, our team continues to exemplify Tangent’s ethos of adaptability and agility.

Our Education Team have been working diligently to perfect Tangent’s online learning environment. We're delighted to report that Tangent’s programmes continue to diversify and expand, and the past few weeks have seen the launch of two brand new exciting Springboard+ Courses Postgraduate Certificates, in Healthcare Innovation and Climate Entrepreneurship! (Read on to find out more!)
 
We have an exciting programme of events planned for the next academic term and look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year! 

Ken
Getting to Know Team Tangent:
CEO Ken Finnegan

 

So Ken, tell us about yourself!
"Where do I start… the most important things in my personal life, I guess? I am married to Azmir just coming up to 2 year now. We have 2 dogs (Jodi and Loki) that have kept us happy, healthy, and entertained over the past covid months. I am from a big family and as the last of 8 children I like to rile my siblings by ‘factually’ stating that our parents saved the best till last 😊. Not true but it does annoy them just a little and is not that the youngest raison d’être."

What have you missed during the lockdown?
"Friends and breaks away, however there have been a lot of positives too like learning to cook and attempting to be more mindful in life."

Postgraduate Certificate: Climate Entrepreneurship

Our Student Recruitment Officer, Jane Flanagan is ready to answer your questions at: springboard@tcd.ie

Tackling climate change needs innovative solutions and creative thinking to reduce the risk to our future, improve environmental sustainability and empower individuals, businesses and society to play their part. If you have a desire to make an impact by putting ideas into action, this course will equip you with the skills, confidence and networking you need. On completing the course, you will be prepared to plan and develop a sustainable venture or project that contributes to climate change mitigation and drive economic development.

Developed in collaboration with the School of Natural Sciences and Tangent, Trinity' Ideas Workspace, this Postgraduate Certificate in Climate Entrepreneurship brings together experts to deliver and exciting and dynamic programme through an integrated multidisciplinary approach. Graduates will develop entrepreneurial skills that can be applied to any aspect of climate action. They will be given critical and lateral thinking skills and an understanding of the societal and economic value that can be achieved by applying an innovative approach to the global challenge. Delivered online using Blackboard, Trinity's Virtual Learning System, this course will support flexibility in learning opportunities. Strong focus is placed on experiential and action-focused learning on the programme, which is taught via a combination of masterclasses, workshops and project-based learning.

A part-time course run over 24 weeks with teaching two evenings a week, students are given the opportunity to develop new skills while continuing employment. Funded under the Government’s HEA Springboard+ programme, the course is free to eligible candidates.

Learn More: 
https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/education/postgraduate/climate-entrepreneurship.php

Postgraduate Certificate: Healthcare Innovation

Our Student Recruitment Officer, Jane Flanagan is ready to answer your questions at: springboard@tcd.ie

Developed by Tangent, Trinity's Ideas Workspace in collaboration with the School of Medicine and Health Innovation Hub Ireland, this Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Innovation brings together the academic expertise with the entrepreneurial capacity of a world class innovation hub to deliver something truly unique. Graduates will develop entrepreneurial skills that can be applied across multiple aspects of healthcare innovation, from products and services to processes and systems. They will be given critical and lateral thinking skills to evaluate the social & economic value of new opportunities for innovation and the confidence to take ideas forward for funding and support and through to implementation.

Rapidly evolving technologies, an ageing population and economic challenges will all dramatically impact healthcare provision in the future. Innovation is needed to pave the way for more convenient and effective healthcare delivery and improved outcomes for patients. If you would like to play a part in Ireland’s healthcare innovation journey by putting ideas into action or becoming an ambassador for change, this course will equip you with the skills and confidence you need. On completing the course, you will be empowered to investigate a diverse range of innovation-related topics and act on opportunities in a variety of healthcare contexts. Delivered online using Blackboard, Trinity's Virtual Learning environment, this course will support flexibility in learning opportunities. Strong focus is placed on experiential and action-focused learning on the programme, which is taught via a combination of masterclasses, workshops and project-based learning. A part-time course run over 24 weeks with teaching two evenings a week, students are given the opportunity to develop new skills while continuing employment. Funded under the Government's HEA Springboard+ programme, the course is free to eligible candidates.

Learn More: 
https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/education/postgraduate/healthcare-innovation.php

Tangent Future Shapers: Eric Maher

We love to share stories from past entrepreneurial students of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace. Here we chat to Eric Maher who runs a bespoke freewheeling cafe business called Rural Vagabonds

Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm a former English Language teacher and communication advisor, now living in Naas County Kildare after spending a period travelling and living abroad in Africa, South Asia and New Zealand.

What has inspired you to do what you do?
I currently run a bespoke freewheeling cafe business called Rural Vagabonds with a friend, following principles of acting environmentally responsibly, using local produce and products and committing to the community. This has informed our approach of being more than the same with our product and service - offering better quality and competitive value for something that should have more substance and a story to you, with the help of the community we reside in, with a touch of tongue in cheek fun...

Read the full interview here: https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/about/future-shapers/eric/
 

 
Provost’s Challenge @ Tangent | Sustainable Cities


The Provost’s Challenge @ Tangent is the perfect opportunity for the students of Trinity to make an impact when it comes to global and societal issues. Each year, it aims to inspire students to work on multidisciplinary teams and come up with innovative, effective solutions to global issues with the help and guidance of mentors from our LaunchBox alumni, the startup ecosystem, and industry. 
 
With this year’s topic of Sustainable Cities, the standard was beyond impressive as we saw a total of fourteen teams made up of fifty students, pitch to our panel of judges and they did not disappoint!
 
The winners, ReFunk, decided to focus on building a sustainability-minded social enterprise. The platform they created allows a user to list any of their unwanted belongings or materials and enables another interested party to collect and upcycle them. The ‘up-cycler’ can then sell the newly improved product on the same platform, providing the previous owner with a percentage of the profit made.
 
The first runner-up, Suss Solutions, are creating an ‘add-on’ to work alongside one’s banking app, rewarding users for their sustainable lifestyle choices and purchases.
 
When asked to describe their experience and what they found to be the most valuable part of the weekend, the Challengers said:
 
“Amazing, amazing insights and value from the mentors and support.”
 
“It was a really valuable learning experience and I learned so much on a personal and
professional level that I will take with me.” 
 
“Brainstorming with people from different disciplines and actually talking to people even virtually was amazing, especially in the current climate.”
 
Our winners ReFunk were awarded a €2,000 prize as well as a spot on this year’s Launchbox, accelerator programme. We will help them in their start-up process as well as provide them with continuous support throughout their journey.

Postgraduate Certificates: Host Programmes Continue! 

Our three Postgraduate Certificates which commenced in Autumn 2020; Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Enterprise Development  & Creative Thinking, Innovation & Entrepreneurship continue with great engagement from students working with over 40 Host Projects from various industries.

Tangent is all about experiential learning. Typically, a team is assigned to a host project and a team lead is appointed to liase with the company. During the project research phase, students apply the tools learned during the programme to a real life company challenge. 

We have received extremely positive Host Project feedback so far:
"that was really, really impressive... you've really challenged my thinking and really pushed me forward. I'll be bringing the ideas you've presented today to our marketing team and moving them forward". 
"I can honestly say their idea is so creative, it's going to be so exciting to see it roll out across the team." 

Professional Education: 
Tangent’s talent development programmes are designed to help organisations and individuals develop new thinking and practice; to shape their future and recognise the opportunities therein. We offer open courses, in-house training, masterclasses, summer schools and boot-camps in the areas of creativity, innovation, design skills and corporate entrepreneurship. We are delighted to report that our Taste 4 Success programme finished up in November to great success, so much so that we will now run additional sessions with Skillnet in 2021! We are now one month into our Digital Transformation in Life Science Manufacturing programme which continues to go from strength to strength with eighteen students taking part in it's inaugural run. Skillnet have also supported the companies and students on this programme, and we look forward to strengthening this relationship, with lots planned for 2021! 

We have also run some bespoke programmes across a range of local, national and international organisations, and always welcome new opportunities to collaborate!

Learn more about Tangent's Professional Courses:
https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/education/shortcourses/

UPS Sustainable Sprint: 
Our Sustainable Sprint event was so engaging and many great ideas surfaced! Thank you to UPS for supporting this Sprint, we're looking forward to meeting participants at future events - we have a super #Ecosystem which is growing and diversifying. A massive congratulations to our overall winner, ReFunk! 

Really encouraging to see teams from across Trinity schools participating in our Sprints! We look forward to meeting the participants at future events as we have a packed schedule of activities planned for 2021!

Alsessor: The AI Accelerator

Altada Technology Solutions has partnered with Tangent, Trinity College Dublin’s ‘Ideas Workspace’ to create an accelerator program supporting early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in the growth and commercialisation of their businesses. This partnership aims to ultimately embed the initiative in the AI start-up ecosystem and create cornerstones for ambitious, global-reaching businesses.

Alsessor has issued a call out to all early-stage Artificial Intelligence startups in Retail, Digital Health, FinTech, InsurTech, Regulatory, and Compliance. If you are an early-stage company working on AI-based products and services ready for development and commercialisation then this could be the opportunity for you! There is an intended investment fund of €250,000, with additional bonuses for all participating companies! 

Once the businesses have exited the accelerator, they will have improved, refined and perfected elements of their business model and their approach to commercially exploiting the solutions they are developing. Ultimately, we want to embed this initiative in the AI start-up ecosystem and create cornerstones for ambitious, global reaching international businesses.

Learn more & Sign up here: https://alsessorai.com/

Women Who Wow 2021: Launch!

The launch of this year’s Women Who Wow mentorship programme, which happened online on Tuesday 24th November, allowed successful student applicants to meet all of the mentors who have so generously offered their time and expertise to Trinity students. Whilst ordinarily, this would involve in-person chatting and networking, ‘breakout rooms’ meant that students had the opportunity to get to know the mentors, and vice versa, in a relaxed, encouraging setting.
 
Topics discussed in the breakouts ranged from impostor syndrome, to aspirational female leaders, to becoming confident speaking about and asking for money. All of the attendees had the opportunity to suggest topics for discussion in advance of the launch.
 
The event placed a focus on interactivity, with many of the women connecting with one another afterwards, and all looking forward to the rest of the programme.
 
Mentors and mentees will be matched with one another in December by the programme manager, Alison Treacy, based on their stated preference. After that, each duo will meet once a month in 2021 to work on the student’s goals and objectives, in relation to starting a business or social enterprise. The group of mentors and mentees will also get the chance to network with one another again in the New Year, likely timed to coincide with International Women’s Day in the spring.
 
Lauren O’Reilly, one of the mentees on this year’s programme and co-founder of ProMotion, a LaunchBox alumni startup, thoroughly enjoyed the event: “Women Who Wow is not your average networking event or programme. The level of support from mentors who are on the programme is phenomenal, and it is clear that the generosity of time, connections, and sharing of expertise will be of great benefit to the students who have chosen to be mentored this year.”
 
Find out more about Women Who Wow: https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/mentoring/women/
 

Tangent: Publications!

In June 2020 Tangent Program Manager, Gillian Roddie, was due to deliver a workshop in Experiential Learning at the International Consortium of Education Development (ICED) Conference in Zurich. The Covid pandemic forced the conference to be cancelled, but Gillian was invited to submit a workshop paper along with her co-presenter and Tangent contributor Dr. Karl Thomas. 

It's an overused phrase but no less true that now, more than ever, experiential learning methods are vital to help to upskill and reskill our workforce. This year has shown us that change is a constant, and we need to ensure that our workforces have the mindset and resilience to adapt and grow. Experiential learning provides the opportunity to "learn-by-doing", and can be used in diverse settings and structures to suit both the learners and organisation's needs. 

At Tangent we were faced with the task of converting our suite of accredited and professional education courses online overnight, presenting our staff with its own set of challenges. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, online teaching in innovation and entrepreneurship was viewed as a far-away goal, an aim that would require significant time and resource input. But necessity really is the mother of all invention, and within a matter of days Gillian ang the Tangent team had re-envisaged innovation and creativity teaching in an online setting. 

Experiential learning provides an opportunity for learners to receive immediate feedback on their practice - do it right, and it works! This, along with an adaptable and agile approach to course design and development ensured that Tangent education courses continued to thrive during some difficult months, resulting in a record numbers of courses and enrolled students during the 2020/2021 academic year. 

Congratulations Gill, Team Tangent are very proud! 

Read more: https://learningteaching.ethz.ch/index.php/lt-eth/article/view/136

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