Bank of Ireland (BOI) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) are working together to develop a distinct entrepreneurship culture among students and create an innovation powerhouse.

It is clear TCD wants to reinforce the entrepreneurial tradition established by many of its alumni. These include icons of the Irish software industry, such as the founders of Demonware, Havok and Iona Technologies, to name a few.

Last month, TCD and BOI announced a new partnership that will support students and graduates at the university’s new innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) hub.

From second year onwards, students at the university will be eligible to take part in entrepreneurship programmes, including a new undergraduate certificate in I&E.

The partnership will support the development of the new certificate, as well as the expansion of existing programmes such as LaunchBox – the TCD student business incubator – and new programmes such as expert-led sprints and hackathons.

These programmes will also benefit from the expertise of the BOI I&E team led by David Tighe.

BOI CEO Francesca McDonagh said: “Today marks the next chapter in our relationship: two of Ireland’s most established institutions joining forces to deliver a transformational vision for Ireland.

“At Bank of Ireland, we see innovation as being critically important – for our company, for our customers and for the country as a whole.

“That’s why it gives me great pleasure to deepen our relationship with Trinity, a college associated with original thought and innovation for many centuries. We look forward to working with Trinity College on a variety of I&E hub programmes to enable the ambitions of Ireland’s future leaders and innovators.”

Leading centre for innovation

The new hub will be housed in a state-of-the-art space that is currently being constructed and will be co-located with the new Trinity Business School on Pearse Street.

It is being specifically designed to foster the creation of ideas, with flexible workspaces providing for co-working and innovation. It will also provide an interface between TCD and the bustling innovation ecosystem on its doorstep, with a view to establishing Ireland as the leading European centre for innovation.

“Trinity is committed to providing an environment that supports and encourages innovation at all levels across the university,” said provost Dr Patrick Prendergast, “promoting entrepreneurship as an engine for economic growth, and for social and cultural development.

“This partnership with Bank of Ireland strengthens our capacity to promote innovation and foster a culture of entrepreneurship among all our students.”

John Kennedy

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