Atlantic Bridge Announces €60m Fund Initiated by UCD and Trinity to Invest in Companies Emerging from Third Level ResearchWednesday, 29 June, 2016
Atlantic Bridge, one of Europe’s top performing growth technology funds, has announced a new €60 million investment fund for early stage companies with global potential that are built from world class research from all Irish third-level institutions and universities.
Leveraging the Atlantic Bridge global investment platform and proven ‘Bridge Model’ for scaling technology companies, the Fund will accelerate the commercialisation of ground breaking research generated at Trinity College Dublin (Trinity), University College Dublin (UCD) and all third level research institutions.
The Fund, which will provide capital and expertise for scaling companies into the US and Chinese markets and elsewhere, was initiated in a joint leadership collaboration between UCD and Trinity.
Pictured (l-r) are Walter Hobbs, Executive Director Investment and Finance, Enterprise Ireland; Gerry Maguire, Partner, Atlantic Bridge; Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Professor Patrick Prendergast, Provost, Trinity; Professor Andrew Deeks, President, UCD and Mark Horgan, Partner, Atlantic Bridge. (Maxwell Photography)
The €60 million now in place will provide investment and expertise at the commercialisation stage for companies focusing on software, hardware, engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and agri-food.
This Fund brings together significant institutional investment from the European Investment Fund – its first cornerstone commitment in an Irish fund of this type having made similar investments in Europe - and Enterprise Ireland, as well AIB and Bank of Ireland, who are already strong supporters of UCD, Trinity and the Irish technology ecosystem. Trinity and UCD have also invested in the Fund.
Irish companies that have benefited from the ‘Bridge Model’ for scaling-up technology companies include Movidius, Swrve, Fieldaware, Glonav and PolarLake.
The Fund will enhance success at UCD and Trinity - both ranked in the Top 1% of higher education institutes worldwide - in creating spin-outs and start-ups. The universities are also ranked in the Top 5 of European Universities for producing graduate entrepreneurs. Over the last 10 years they have jointly spun-out over 60 companies, which have secured in excess of €200 million in investment, such as Equinome, Logentries and OxyMem from UCD and Genable, Opsona Therapeutics and Swrve from Trinity.
Enterprise Ireland is investing in the Fund from its Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2013-2018), supporting its key strategic aim of commercialising Irish third level research into globally scalable businesses, which will create high quality jobs, stimulate exports and attract international investment. This significant investment represents its continued commitment to increasing the availability of risk capital for SMEs and ensuring there is a vibrant ecosystem of funding available in the Irish market for all startups.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “Innovation is a key pillar of Enterprise 2025 and I am delighted that this new University Bridge Fund has been launched. This additional investment in the third level sector will provide the support for more researchers to develop viable new businesses and spin outs from the sector.”
According to President of UCD, Professor Andrew Deeks, “The strong track record, scale and professional supports of UCD and Trinity prompted us to seek out the creation of this fund in the first place. We expect the pipeline of UCD and Trinity companies to account for at least 50% of the investment fund. We are both ambitious and confident that the University Bridge Fund will generate excellent commercial outcomes that will encourage more researchers to become entrepreneurs.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, added “A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to support innovation and the commercialisation of research into business. We are delighted to be an investor in the University Bridge Fund which is open to all third level institutions and will help develop more entrepreneurs, companies and jobs, from the research community.”
For further information about the University Bridge Fund visit www.universitybridgefund.ie.