Tag Archive | "Venture Capital"

UCD ranked 5th university in Europe for VC-backed entrepreneurs

Dublin’s University College Dublin (UCD) has been ranked fifth in a list of European universities that have produced venture capital (VC)-backed graduates.

Private equity research firm PitchBook in its report Top Universities for VC-backed Entrepreneurs, which covers January 2009 to August 2014, noted that 31 UCD graduate entrepreneurs established 26 companies that raised US$112m in funding.

UCD is the only Irish university in the top 10 list of European universities.

The University of London ranked the best overall university in Europe with 71 graduate entrepreneurs establishing 67 companies that raised just over US$1bn in funding.

Stanford ranked No 1 globally according to this report, with 378 entrepreneurs establishing 309 companies raising just over US$3.5bn.

The PitchBook VC database includes the educational backgrounds of more than 13,000 founders worldwide.

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Enterprise Ireland-backed venture capital investment rises

Investment firms backed by Enterprise Ireland invested €5m more last year than in 2012, according to the semi-State agency.

Firms using its Seed and Venture Capital Programmes invested €59m in 94 companies during 2013, it said, compared to a €54m investment in 84 companies during 2012.

To date half of the investments made via the programme were in the software sector, with more than a third going into life science firms.

The programme currently manages almost €700m in capital, according to Enterprise Ireland, with around 2,100 people employed by the firms that have gained investment through it to date.

Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton said venture capital funds provide “critical funding, mentoring and access to networks” for emerging companies, with the latest figures showing that the State has been successful in encouraging more VC activity here in recent years.

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Lack of venture capital and Skills shortage could cost thousands of software jobs

Ireland’s vibrant and growing software industry risks losing thousands of new jobs to other countries because of the shortage of suitable skills here.

That is according to a study carried out by the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre and Kemmy Business Schools at the University of Limerick.

It also found that access to venture capital is another major impediment to the growth of software companies here.

It aimed to analyse key competitiveness trends in the software industry here.

Its interim report describes a vibrant, fast growing Irish software industry with tremendous potential, though with big differences between indigenous and foreign firms.

80% of software companies in Ireland are Irish, with a quarter of those less than three years old, and more than half having five or fewer software engineering staff.

On the other hand, a quarter of foreign software firms have been here over 15 years, but only one in ten has five or fewer staff involved in engineering.

However, when it comes to challenges, experiences are similar.

Skills are in short supply, with as many as half of all vacancies filled by inward migration.

While access to second stage venture capital is also in short supply.

The authors warn that despite the growth potential, unless the challenges are met, there is a risk thousands of new jobs at Irish based software firms will be created outside the country.

Posted in IT Research, News, R&D Investment, R&D NewsComments (0)

US venture capital firm to invest in Irish life sciences start-ups

A venture capital company is to establish a fund of $172m (€125m) that will invest in Irish companies.

The Government is to inject €30m into the fund, which will invest in Irish life science start-ups.

Lightstone Ventures is a two-year-old international venture capital firm that funds emerging medical device and biopharmaceutical companies.

The sector has been identified in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs as a fast growing one.

The Department of Jobs will invest €20m through EnterpriseIreland.

A further €10m will be invested by the National Pension Reserve Fund.

This is the third investment by the Government under the Innovation Fund Ireland programme.

The initiative is designed to attract leading international venture capital fund managers to Ireland.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the announcement will come as a major boost for the life sciences sector and will lead to company development and job creation.

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