12:30 - 13:30
Entrepreneurship In Universities

Short thesis

Startups are Eating the World!

Should so called liberal Universities Encourage Entrepreneurship amongst students and researchers?
Are Millenials more Entrepreneurial than Baby Boomers?
Is Generation Z more entrepreneurial than Millenials?
Are startups a lifestyle choice , a disease or mass hysteria?
What are the traits of an entrrepreneur?
Mental Health of Founders.


On July 17th, 1897, the steamship Portland docked in Seattle from St Michael, Alaska, carrying 68 prospectors and what newspapers described as "a ton of gold.” This was the start of the Klondike gold rush, leading Seattle to thrive as the main transportation hub for that event.

Fast forwarding to Seattle today and the tradition of prospecting seems to have endured. PitchBook Inc., a private equity, M&A and venture capital database, runs out of offices on the 12th floor of a skyscraper in downtown Seattle. It employs a 400-strong team who sift through all financial announcements to compile a valuable database of all venture capital and private equity investments throughout the globe. At a cost of over $15,000 per year to access the data, their business model in essence is selling the “picks and shovels” of today’s tech start up gold rush.

Are Irish universities doing something unique in Europe? Or perhaps such results are simply reflecting an entrepreneurial culture (or necessity), which is inherent in Irish society?

As well as being well-educated, both technically and in thought processes, there are other reasons why third level students have a unique opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship. Students are naturally questioning, dynamic, disruptive and enthusiastic.

we ask the question: Is all this success simply serendipity? Or can we do more to exploit the opportunity and gain further success for the Irish economy? Looking abroad, there are plenty of examples of what other economies are doing to support student entrepreneurs.

YCombinator’s founder, Paul Graham has made it well-known that it targets university campuses to cherry-pick its start-ups saying: “Most students don’t realise how rich they are in the scarcest ingredient in start-ups – cofounders!” So, what exactly is being done in an Irish context?

[1] Pitchbook Universities reports:

2015 http://pitchbook.com/news/reports/2015-2016-pitchbook-universities-report 

 2016 http://pitchbook.com/newsletter/pitchbook-universities-where-does-your-school-rank