€60m fund launched to benefit Irish early stage companies

Business, Finance | Fri 17 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
UNIVERSITY BRIDGE FUND
Pictured (L-R): Walter Hobbs, Enterprise Ireland; Gerry Maguire, Atlantic Bridge; Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD; professor Patrick Prendergast, Provost, Trinity; ‌‌professor Andrew Deeks, UCD; and Mark Horgan, Atlantic Bridge

Atlantic Bridge has announced a new €60m investment fund for early stage companies with global potential from all Irish third-level institutions and universities.

The University Bridge Fund will accelerate the commercialisation of groundbreaking research generated at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and all third-level research institutions.

The fund will provide capital and expertise for scaling companies into the US and Chinese markets and elsewhere and was initiated in a joint leadership collaboration between UCD and Trinity.

The €60m 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.

The fund brings together institutional investment from the European Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland, as well AIB and Bank of Ireland. 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.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 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.”

Gerry Maguire, general partner at Atlantic Bridge, added: “Irish third-level institutions are generating cutting edge research, which we believe has great potential to be commercialised into global companies of scale. Atlantic Bridge will bring world class investment processes, scaling expertise and an international platform to generate strong commercial returns for investors.”