Patch: The future is diverse for Ireland’s young entrepreneurs

20 Jul 2023

Managing director Jack O'Regan Kenny. Image: Patch

Led by entrepreneur Jack O’Regan Kenny, Patch is on the hunt for Ireland’s next John or Patrick Collison through its latest summer accelerator cohort.

Patch, the all-island accelerator for young people, has kicked off with its most diverse cohort to date.

Founded by Tom McCarthy in 2018, the summer accelerator is backed by Stripe, Dogpatch Labs and the NDRC and helps promising young people from across Ireland to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start their own companies.

In an announcement today, Patch said the latest cohort includes more women and people from outside Dublin than in previous years. Almost half (46pc) of the cohort are women and more than 60pc are based outside the capital.

Jack O’Regan Kenny, an engineer in residence at Dogpatch, took over as managing director of the accelerator earlier this year, while McCarthy assumed the role of chair. Patch also recently expanded to the entire island of Ireland following a three-year funding commitment from NDRC.

‘Next generation of innovators’

O’Regan Kenny said that Patch is “proud” to operate as a non-profit organisation that is supported by donors who “recognise the significance of investing in the next generation of innovators”.

“This backing allows Patch to provide invaluable resources, mentorship and guidance to young talent who are keen to make a difference in their communities and beyond,” said the young entrepreneur who also founded and runs Irish start-up Mirr.

“As someone who has participated in Patch myself, I know first-hand the dedication required and world-class support you get as a young entrepreneur – it’s invaluable to growing an idea in your phone notes, to something impactful.”

While the 31-strong cohort is yet to be revealed, Patch said their projects prioritise social impact, healthcare and sustainability. They will now be mentored by the likes of Loyal founder Celine Halioua, Stripe president of product and business Will Gaybrick and founder Des Traynor.

The seven-week accelerator kicked off on 5 July and participants are now in London learning about AI, venture capital and finance. It will culminate in a Demo Day on 17 August, where participants will present their projects and the progress they will have made by then. The accelerator

“Being part of this extraordinary programme that cultivates young minds to instigate enduring social change is truly incredible,” said Patch mentor Andreea Wade, vice-president of enterprise recruiting software iCIMS.

“The opportunity to witness first-hand the passion and talent these young participants exhibit at such a pivotal point in their lives is deeply inspiring. As a mentor, I’ve realised it’s more than just guiding them – it’s about giving back, investing in the future and fostering new leaders.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic