Trinity Hall Entrepreneurs Network (THEN)
Trinity Hall’s Entrepreneurs Network has been launched to encourage entrepreneurship amongst Trinity Hall members, compliment the work of the University Enterprise Network and raise the profile of the College through increasing engagement with the sphere of innovation and entrepreneurship.
THEN aims to:
- increase student awareness of entrepreneurship by promoting University enterprise events and competitions, as well as hosting events in College which promote entrepreneurship.
- provide support for students, postdocs and alumni looking to commercialise their ideas. This support is both financial through grants from the Experiencing Entrepreneurship Fund and the award from the Lee-Yung Family Fund for entrepreneurship; and practical support, through advice via the careers directory, access to a network of like-minded alumni and a mentoring scheme.
Alumni will be welcome to events in College and can join a virtual network of like-minded entrepreneurs. To join the entrepreneurs network visit your profile on www.THalumni.net and check the relevant boxes on the carer network section of your business profile.
Case study – Blutick
Rob Percival (1999) is the founder and CEO of Blutick, an AI-based Maths teaching product which gives students intelligent feedback as they work through problems. Blutick is designed to help 11 to 16 year olds with the UK Maths Curriculum.
Rob was a Maths teacher for ten years, and is also the founder of Codestars, which has taught 1.5 million students how to code. He lives with his wife and two boys in Cambridge.
Case study – GenPol
GenPol – Gender & Policy Insights is a think tank consultancy and a social enterprise. It advocates for gender equality, researches gender issues, and uses research findings to enable others to understand gender dynamics and find gender-sensitive solutions to their problems.
GenPol’s cofounder and CEO, Dr Lilia Giugni, graduated at Trinity Hall in 2017, after completing a PhD in Politics, and is now a researcher at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Several Trinity Hall alumnae and research students are involved, too, in GenPol’s activities. These include Ellen Davis-Walker (co-founder and Chief Communication Officer), Pauline Kiesow (co-founder), Lily Rosengard (Business Development Officer) and current research interns Ciara Taylor and Stella Rhodes.
GenPol publishes reports, policy papers and research briefs, and organises events and training, to raise awareness on gender issues and mainstream equality and diversity concerns across different sectors. It also helps a wide-range of clients and stakeholders develop gender-aware policies.
Case study – Catriona McGill
I am a recent Trinity Hall Engineering alumna (MEng, 2010-2014) and currently head up technology development at Desolenator, a clean-technology start-up, looking at solar-powered desalination & water purification. We aim to provide drinking water in off-grid locations, and to minimise the carbon footprint associated with desalination. Within Desolenator I manage the R&D process, essentially taking the idea from concept to sell-able product. This is the closest thing to my dream job. A typical month can see me pitching to investors, in meetings with governments, reviewing maths calculations and doing manual labour on our test site. I love it! My current focus is on managing our first external pilot project: installing our units in a primary school in an extremely remote part of Northern Kenya, to provide clean drinking water for the students and teachers there.
As a student, I had no concept of what a start-up was. I didn’t know anyone working in start-ups and I didn’t know how to talk to anyone working in one. The Entrepreneurs Network has the potential to mitigate this, and I hope current Trinity Hall students make the most of the platform!
Case study – DeskGen
Two Trinity Hall graduates, Victor Dillard (2011) and Edward Perello (2011), along with former Wychfield-resident Riley Doyle (Hughes Hall 2011) founded Desktop Genetics, a bioinformatics company with a mission to enable genetic engineers to discovery and treat the root cause of genetic disease.
The company has developed algorithms to design genome editing experiments with high precision and efficacy. With this technology Desktop Genetics launched software tools for scientists to design and validate any cell, in any species, right from their desktop. Their products and services are used by thousands of labs around the world working in fundamental research and drug discovery. Recently, the company has worked on accelerating the development of novel cell therapies by applying its technology to validate genome edited cells prior to clinical use.
They founded the company in 2012 whilst completing their MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise. Desktop Genetics was acquired by Celixir in 2018.
Lee-Yung Family Fund for Entrepreneurship
If you are a student, post-doc or alumnus up to five years from graduation looking for additional funding to translate your ideas and inventions into useful products through improving skills, purchasing materials or accessing a makerspace, you are able to apply to the Lee-Yung Family Fund for Entrepreneurship. Each year for the next five years £1,000 will be distributed across up to five teams or individuals. At the end of the year an additional £1,000 will be awarded to the team/individual whose concept or product shows the most promise.
Applications are open to undergraduates, graduates or post-docs affiliated with Trinity Hall or a Trinity Hall alumnus within five years of graduation. Teams must contain at least one member who fulfils the eligibility criteria.
Apply by completing the form below and sending it to THEN@trinhall.cam.ac.uk. The closing date for application is 10 December 2018 and funds will be distributed in February. Winners are expected to provide regular updates and a final report by the end of November 2019.
With thanks to Aaron Lee (1992) for his support.
Experiencing Entrepreneurship Fund
The award is designed to give current students and postdocs the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship by assisting students who are (i) undertaking internships with start-ups and/or (ii) travel related to enterprise. Students undertaking unpaid work in a start-up may wish to apply for a grant to help with accommodation/travel costs; or students taking part in entrepreneurship activities such as a hackathon may need help with travel costs.
Applications will be assessed by the Trinity Hall Entrepreneurs Network advisory group. Maximum awards of £1,500 towards living costs and £1,000 towards travel are possible. To make an application you must be a current undergraduate, graduate or post-doc affiliated with Trinity Hall. The application form is available on the student pages of the website or you can contact THEN@trinhall.cam.ac.uk
The award has been made possible by a donation from Graham Ross Russell (1953)