Graduates from Trinity College Dublin founded more venture-backed companies than graduates from any other European university over the last 12 years, according to independent research.
Trinity sits at number 48 in the global rankings for producing venture-backed entrepreneurs from its undergraduate programmes, according to PitchBook’s recently published Universities Report (see: https://pitchbook.com/news/reports/2017-universities-report).
Trinity is the only European university within the Top 50, making this the third year in a row that Trinity has been ranked first in Europe by the private equity and venture-focused research firm.
Between the years of 2006 and 2017 – the period over which PitchBook conducted its latest independent analyses – Trinity alumni represented 216 entrepreneurs, formed 201 venture-backed companies, and raised capital of approximately US $2,372 million (fractionally under €2 billion at current exchange rate).
The 216 entrepreneurs noted in this year’s report represent an increase from the 192 in last year’s report (and from the 114 in 2015); the company count of 201 is up from 180 in 2016 (106 in 2015) and the $2,372 million in capital raised is up from the $2,166 million in 2016.
Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer at Trinity, Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, said: “Trinity is ranked 1st in Europe for graduate entrepreneurship for the third year in a row. Our graduates have raised $2.372 billion in funding across 201 companies in the last decade.”
“This is a testament to the fantastic students coming through Trinity, the competitiveness of the Dublin innovation eco-system and the role that Trinity plays for Ireland in enabling our best entrepreneurship talent.”
Specific success stories over the past year include Inflazome, founded by Trinity alumnus and Professor in Biochemistry, Luke O’Neill, which raised €15 million in September 2017, and Plynk, a FinTech company co-founded by alumnus Charles Dowd, which raised €25 million in Series A funding in June 2017.
Inflazome is developing ground-breaking treatments for the many diseases driven by chronic inflammation, such as Parkinson’s and asthma, which are often inadequately treated by current therapeutics. Plynk, meanwhile, has developed an app-based messaging service that makes it easy to pay for things and to exchange money with friends, which is supported by Bank of Ireland and linked in to the established card payment schemes.
Trinity’s support of entrepreneurship in its students includes the hugely successful incubator programme LaunchBox, supported by Bank of Ireland, which has seen the creation of 40 startups that went on to raise €6.1 million in investment since the inception of the programme in 2013.
Trinity has also teamed up with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to establish the LaunchPad programme, which provides thousands of students with a major network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system. Blackstone LaunchPad at Trinity is an experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty. It offers coaching, ideation and venture creation support and is based in the Berkeley Library in the centre of Trinity's historic campus.