A groundbreaking handheld device that enables people with visual impairments to experience the action of live sport, has won LaunchBox 2021, the annual student entrepreneurship competition hosted by Tangent.
‘Field Of Vision’ is a device that enables football fans with visual impairments to experience live matches. It uses computer vision to track the location of the ball on the pitch and translate it to a moving finger piece on the device, enabling the action to be felt in real time.
The LaunchBox final – known as Demo Day – saw 10 shortlisted teams pitch their ideas to seek support to accelerate their start-ups. The teams comprised students from nine Trinity schools.
LaunchBox provides students with mentorship, funding, access to alumni and investors and a collaborative environment to launch new ventures.
Furniture upcycling app ReFunk was awarded second prize and yacht parking startup Park Turtle came in third place.
The top three teams will receive cash prizes, as well as access to co-working space to further their businesses.
Since 2013, LaunchBox student ventures have created approximately 278 jobs and raised over €73.2 million in investment and funding.
Speaking at Demo Day, Tangent CEO Ken Finnegan said: “At Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, we emphasise the importance of agility and innovation in all of our courses and programmes, and it has never been more necessary and important than in the current climate.”
“Both the LaunchBox programme and the LaunchBox startups have demonstrated unparalleled flexibility and innovation in the move to a fully online programme and are a testament to the culture of creativity and adaptability here in Trinity”, he said.
Other finalists from this year’s competition include Fonz Music, a music selection took which can be linked to Spotify, One Sure Thing, an end-of-life digital planning assistant and UniPeer, a platform for university students experiencing loneliness.
LaunchBox alumni companies include social enterprise Foodcloud, which helps businesses redistribute surplus food, Touchtech Payments, a payment-processing venture that was acquired by Stripe in 2019 and Equine MediRecord, which digitises the medical records of the multi-billion-euro horse racing industry’s equine stars.