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 – 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 Ltd, a bioinformatics company aiming to revolutionize the way genetic engineers work together.
The company developed Autoclone™, an automated software platform and database that enables the optimal design, construction, management and exchange of DNA constructs, to be deployed in vector/plasmid manufacturing, genome-editing, protein production and synthetic biology work flows. It sources the DNA sequences needed to build any new DNA specified by the user; and therefore enhances research productivity by reducing the lengthy and expensive process by which DNA is synthesized.
They founded the company in 2012 whilst completing their MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise.
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)