Teen accelerator Patch signs 3-year partnership with Stripe

Funding will expand the summer accelerator to include science and research projects

Irish-founded payment company Stripe has signed a three-year partnership with teen accelerator Patch to support the expansion of its work.

The value of the support is a significant six-figure sum, according to Patch, although it did not put an exact number on the deal.

The agreement sees Stripe join other key Patch supporters, including Pointy's Mark Cummins, Dogpatch Labs and the Naughton Foundation, along with entrepreneurs Bobby Healy and Ray Nolan, in funding the accelerator's future work.

The accelerator identifies high potential youth and supports their development. Patch was founded by Tom McCarthy in 2018, and runs an annual summer accelerator for young people, where they work on projects of their own and learn from world-class founders, scientists and leaders. Among the speakers at the programme are Foodcloud co-founder Iseult Ward and Intercom co-founder Des Traynor.

The new funding will be used to expand the summer accelerator to include science and research projects, in addition to developing national programmes for identifying talented youth. International expansion is also being considered.

Mr McCarthy said the deal was an endorsement of the accelerator’s work. “It’s significant for the future because they are an enormous company and they are enormously high calibre, too,” he said. “So the level of support that we will be able to provide to Patchers going forward is going to be excellent. It’s going to enable us to run a lot more experiments and new initiatives, and try to continue what we have been trying to do since the start, and continue to do that in a further developed way going forward.”

Mentor support

While the monetary support is important, Mr McCarthy said the support from mentors was equally important.

“What we need to support young people is excellent older people who can serve as mentors and advisers, and guide people in their development,” he said.

In addition to the monetary support, expert engineers, designers and professionals from Stripe will volunteer on Patch programmes.

“Stripe is funding Patch because we believe it will have a significant impact on the future of the Irish ecosystem,” said Eileen O’Mara, head of Stripe EMEA. “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.”

Among Patch's ecosystem partners are the new Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme at University Limerick. Previous Patch participants include Cropsafe, which took part in Patch 2019, and FOV, part of Patch 2020.

Applications for the next Patch accelerator will open in January.