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Gianni Matera named as inaugural venture capitalist in residence at NovaUCD

Posted 21 March, 2024

NovaUCD, the hub of innovation and start-up activities at University College Dublin, has announced Italian investor Gianni Matera as its first Venture Capitalist in Residence (VCiR).

The founder of Growing Capital, an early-stage investment firm specialising in supporting start-ups with their roots in Ireland, will be the inaugural VCiR, and will engage with the NovaUCD entrepreneurial community as a part of a new programme called Nova VCiR.

Alongside holding bi-weekly open office hours for meetings with NovaUCD client companies and delivering an investor masterclass, the new role will also be available to participate as a mentor and as a speaker on NovaUCD accelerator and business support programmes, review early-stage start-up projects and spin-outs and participate in VC pitch panels at associated NovaUCD events.

“I am thrilled to be taking part in this great new initiative at NovaUCD and it is truly an honour to serve as the inaugural Venture Capitalist in Residence,” said Gianni Matera, Growing Capital founder.

“Over the next few months, I eagerly anticipate sharing my experiences as an early-stage investor with the vibrant community of NovaUCD founders and I aim to cultivate meaningful relationships with the diverse team of professionals at NovaUCD, known for their successful support of the emerging generations of entrepreneurs.”

Simon Factor, Head of New Ventures and Investments at NovaUCD added: “[Gianni] has an outstanding track record in supporting and investing in start-ups in Ireland, has agreed to be our first VC in Residence.

“The Nova VCiR programme is an additional feature to the package of benefits we offer our client companies and provides a way for our founders and entrepreneurs to access and engage with a VC onsite in a structured way. We hope that Gianni will be the first of many VCiRs at NovaUCD over the coming years.”

As part of its Nova VCiR programme, NovaUCD will only engage with one VCiR at a time and each VCiR programme will last up to 6 months. 

Growing Capital is an early-stage investment firm specialising in supporting start-ups with their roots in Ireland. To date, Growing Capital has supported 27 Irish start-ups, including NanobOx, a UCD spin-out company supported through NovaUCD.

Since opening in 2003, NovaUCD has supported 550+ companies and early-stage ventures and the NovaUCD entrepreneurial community has raised €1.3+ billion in equity funding.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie