Patch accelerator bags NDRC funding and expands programme

21 Mar 2023

Tom McCarthy, found of Patch. Image: Patch

Jack O’Regan Kenny is taking the helm as managing director while founder Tom McCarthy becomes chair.

Patch, the accelerator for young entrepreneurs, has received a three-year funding commitment from the NDRC and is expanding to the whole island of Ireland.

Backed by Stripe and Dogpatch Labs, Patch is a summer accelerator for promising young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start their own companies. It was founded by Tom McCarthy in 2018 and alumni include four overall BT Young Scientist winners.

Young people aged 16 to 21 living in Ireland, the UK and Europe can now apply for the Patch programme. Applications close this Friday, 24 March.

McCarthy, who built a nuclear reactor in his back garden before he had even completed the Junior Cert, founded Patch when he was only 20 years old. The young founder now takes over as chair while Jack O’Regan Kenny becomes managing director of the accelerator.

O’Regan Kenny took part in Patch in 2020 and has founded two successful companies, Mirr and VC Hunt, the latter of which was snapped up by Toronto-based Fuel last year. He is an engineer-in-residence at Dogpatch Labs.

“Taking part in Patch was a key event in my life and through Patch, I met amazing people who gave me the direction and confidence to pursue my ambitions,” O’Regan Kenny said.

Under his management, Patch will run its largest programme yet with 36 participants.

“We will bring the cohort to Belfast and London, immersing them in inspiring new environments. We are also developing grants programmes for young [people] and alumni,  supports that build on what alumni gain from the summer accelerator,” he added.

Other than Stripe and Dogpatch Labs, Patch is partnered with a growing number of players in Ireland’s start-up ecosystem, including the new Immersive Software Engineering programme at the University Limerick, BT Young Scientist, CoderDojo and SciFest.

Some of the mentors at Patch include FoodCloud founder Iseult Ward, Intercom founder Des Traynor, Loyal founder Celine Halioua and Manna founder Bobby Healy, whose drone delivery start-up just launched its first US trial.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic