Trinity College tops in Europe for producing entrepreneurs

UCD also included in list of top universities with graduates that go on to lead start-ups

Established by Iseult Ward and Aiobheann O’Brien, FoodCloud is one of many successful start-ups that have emerged from Trinity College

Trinity College has produced more entrepreneurs than any other university in Europe over the last five years, according to new independent research.

The Universities Report from private equity and venture capital-focused research firm PitchBook, shows Trinity produced 114 entrepreneurs and 106 companies, and raised $655 million in capital between 2010 and 2015.

In comparison, second-placed Oxford University produced 72 entrepreneurs, 68 companies and raised $983 million in capital.

University College Dublin, the only other Irish university to be included in the top 10, came in at fourth place with 70 entrepreneurs, 62 companies formed and $275 million in capital.


The report ranks institutions on the number of undergraduate alumni who go on to found companies that receive first-round venture capital backing.

Among Trinity's many start-up success stories are Artomatix and Foodcloud, which both participated in the college's 'Launchbox' accelerator programme.

Founded in 2013, Foodcloud is a virtual foodbank that connects charities in need of food with businesses that have too much food. Established by Iseult Ward and Aiobheann O'Brien, Trinity students in Business and Economics, and Environmental Science respectively, the firm went on to secure numerous investments and last year secured a flagship deal that ensured Tesco's 146 stores would redistribute the supermarket's surplus food to charities across the country.

Ms Ward also featured in Time Magazine as a young global entrepreneur of the future.

Artomatix, which was founded in 2014 by Kildare-born Neal O'Gorman and American-born Trinity Phd computer science student Eric Risser, is a company that enables artists to automate low-level creative tasks. It has secured over €700,000 in venture capital and the founders recently presented their game design app at Silicon Valley's Tech Crunch disrupt event.

The Web Summit also has its roots in Trinity where two of its co-founders Paddy Cosgrave and Daire Hickey attended, as does CompareAsiaGroup, a company co-led by Irish entreprenur and Trinity graduate Alistair Musgrave. The financial comparison site recently raised $40 million in venture capital funding to be used to expand the company's offerings to more categories, including investment products and life insurance.

Commenting on Trinity’s achievement in the PitchBook rankings, the college’s director of research and innovation, Diarmuid O’Brien said: “This is a fantastic achievement and underlines the impact our graduates are making as innovators and entrepreneurs whose companies are changing Ireland - and the world - for the better. Trinity is committed to supporting out students develop into entrepreneurs who can create real social and economic impact.”

Top 10 European colleges for producing entrepreneurs

1. Trinity College Dublin

2. Oxford University

3. University of Manchester

4. University College Dublin

5. Cambridge University

6. London School of Economics

7. University of Copenhagen

8 Imperial College, London

9. University of Nottingham.

10. University of Warwick

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist