With a six-figure funding boost from Stripe, the Patch summer accelerator will include science projects and possibly expand abroad.
Stripe has signed a three-year partnership with Patch, the Irish summer accelerator for teenagers, to help find Ireland’s next John or Patrick Collison.
The partnership comes with a six-figure investment from the global payments company along with a commitment to share experts in engineering and design from Stripe to work on Patch programmes.
This new funding will be used to expand the Patch summer accelerator to include science and research-based projects, develop new programmes to find talented youth from across Ireland and for a possible international expansion.
Tom McCarthy, who founded Patch in 2018, said that the Stripe partnership is a “phenomenal endorsement” of the work Patch does, and that long-term, large-scale support such as this can help Patch become a place where young people become future founders, scientists or leaders.
“Patchers will be able to learn about doing great work directly from people who have done it – whether that’s designing rockets, developing new therapeutics, or building companies like Pointy or Stripe.”
Stripe joins a host of partners already helping Patch hone Ireland’s young minds, including Pointy co-founder Mark Cummins, Dogpatch Labs and the Naughton Foundation founded by Glen Dimplex’s Dr Martin Naughton.
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 annual summer accelerator is aimed at young people with an interest in STEM or entrepreneurship.
One start-up that stemmed from the Patch programme in 2020 is Mirr, which is looking to turn the mirror into a smart device, founded by engineering students Alice Shaughnessy and Jack O’Regan Kenny.
Speakers at the Patch summer accelerator have included Iseult Ward, co-founder of FoodCloud; Des Traynor, co-founder of Intercom; David Moloney, co-founder of Movidius (now part of Intel); and Cummins, whose Pointy business was acquired by Google last year.
‘It meant the world to me’
Conor Casey, a Patch 2020 participant from Co Kerry, said that the accelerator allowed him to meet other bright people and discuss topics he was “actually interested in”, such as genetics and the future of artificial intelligence. “I didn’t feel alone any more, and it meant the world to me,” he said.
Last month, Patch announced a new nationwide talent search for school students in partnership with the Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme at the University of Limerick, which is backed by global tech leaders including Stripe and Intercom.
Eileen O’Mara, Stripe’s EMEA head, said that Stripe decided to fund Patch because it believes the programme will have a significant impact on the future of the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“Patch creates an opportunity for young people to realise the same global ambition that we strive for at Stripe and we want to directly participate in any chance to help a future John or Patrick Collison realise their potential,” she said.
Applications for the next Patch accelerator open in January 2022.
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