Sunday 26 October 2014

Young entrepreneurs get a business boost

Claire Mc Cormack

Published 09/07/2014 | 00:00

Paul Mahoney, Paul Mannix and Patrick Lynch, co-founders of Light-house Paul Sharp/Sharppix

A bunch of young entrepreneurs is ready to take the 
country's business world by storm.

Trinity College Dublin has welcomed eight new teams of ambitious entrepreneurs to LaunchBox - a competitive start-up accelerator that supports business-minded students and their projects.

After battling off 70 other applicants, the teams officially moved into a summer studio space yesterday where they will develop prototypes and business models for their new companies.

This year's teams will work to deliver investor-ready ventures focused on a variety of themes including education, retail, fashion and health.

One team is developing an app that will allow people to gain fashion insights from their immediate environment, while others aim to produce online videos to help teachers with lesson plans, develop safety lighting systems for the elderly and make industry-leading health drinks.

"I think entrepreneurship is always something that students have had an interest in but now maybe there are some more role models out there and people realise that this something I can do, I can start my own company," said Professor 
Vinny Cahill.

The business incubator provides coaching, expert advice, seed funding and access to the space and facilities needed to test out and launch the new ventures.

The teams will get advice from TCD alumni.

Foodcloud, a Launchbox success stories from 2013, raised €70,000 from professional investors and has secured a deal with Tesco while event management system Hive raised €150,000 from Enterprise 
Ireland and RTE's Dragon's Den.

"It is about taking a leap of courage to just do it and believe in yourself," said Gail Condon, one of last year's LaunchBox entrepreneurs.

Irish Independent

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