Trinity College leads Europe for success of graduate entrepreneurs

5 Sep 2018521 Views

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Trinity College Dublin. Image: David Soanes/Shutterstock

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TCD is the only European university within PitchBook’s top 50.

Graduates from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) founded more venture-backed companies than graduates from any other European university over the last 13 years.

That’s according to PitchBook’s recently published Universities Report.

‘Trinity has placed innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of its strategy’
– DR DIARMUID O’BRIEN

TCD is the only European university within the top 50, making this the fourth year in a row that the university has been ranked first in Europe by the private equity and venture-focused research firm.

TCD’s ranking at 46 is up two places from last year.

Between the years of 2006 and 2018 – the period over which PitchBook conducted its latest independent analysis – TCD alumni produced 232 entrepreneurs, formed 212 venture-backed companies and raised capital of approximately ‎$3.26bn.

The 232 entrepreneurs noted in this year’s report represent an increase from the 216 in last year’s report (and from the 192 in 2016); the company count of 212 is up from 201 in 2017 (180 in 2016); and the $3.26bn in capital raised is up from the $2.372bn in 2017.

TCD grads make the grade

TCD graduates who are leading companies reflected in the PitchBook data include Intercom founders Eoghan McCabe and Ciaran Lee. Their customer engagement platform recently achieved unicorn status when it was valued at more than $1.275bn in its recent $125m investment round.

Another success story is Dr Nora Khaldi, founder of Nuritas, which raised €20m in March for its artificial intelligence and genomics platform that discovers and unlocks natural bioactive peptides with extraordinary health benefits.

“Trinity has placed innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of its strategy – from the development of plans for a new innovation campus at Grand Canal Quay, to the establishment of a University Bridge venture fund to enable investment in new start-up companies, to the creation of Tangent, Trinity’s ideas workspace to enable student and graduate entrepreneurship,” said Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, chief innovation and enterprise officer at TCD.

In recent weeks, O’Brien revealed to Siliconrepublic.com how TCD plans to build an all-new campus to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, aiming to be home to more than 400 start-ups.

The €1bn campus will be located in what will be known as the Grand Canal Innovation District, which will be modelled on innovation districts such as Cambridge Square in Boston as well as other similar districts in cities such as Toronto, Rotterdam and Barcelona.

“The news today that Trinity is again Europe’s leading university for graduate entrepreneurship further supports these ambitions and our role as a global leader in enabling the best students to become the best entrepreneurs.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com