The Big Tech Show – Being a young tech founder in Ireland: 'When I'm working on lots of things, I'll forget to hang out with friends'

The Big Tech Show with Adrian Weckler

What does the next generation of tech founders look like in Ireland? What are they making? How do they think? This week on the Big Tech Show, Adrian is joined by one such founder, Jack O’Regan Kenny.

At the age of 20, Jack has already founded and exited one company and is now managing director of the Dublin based accelerator, Patch.

Founders dropping out of college is a common theme in the world of young tech entrepreneurs and for Jack it was the same. He began studying mechatronic engineering in TU Dublin while working on his start up company Mirr, but found he was often way ahead of the course.

Being a young tech founder in Ireland: 'When I'm working on lots of things, I'll forget to hang out with friends'

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“A lot of what I was learning in college, I'd learned maybe weeks or months prior.

“I felt like it was quite slow and that I'd probably be better off focusing on Mirr full time and revisiting college later if I wanted.”

Even as a teenager, being a founder meant long hours. To get a break from the intensity of Mirr, Jack set up his second venture, VC-Hunt to get away from the pressures that his first company brought with it.

“VC-Hunt is a venture capital data aggregation platform. It was a kind of break for me. I was doing ridiculous hour weeks as a teenager, 120 plus hours... I’d just get up, do work and sleep."

After only working on VC-Hunt for a number of weeks, it was acquired by Toronto-based StartupFuel in 2022.

Now, Jack is the managing director of Patch, a Dublin based accelerator that provides hands on experience and mentorship to young entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 and 21.

“Whether it's an entrepreneurship or they're extremely technical, they have a real passion for science. We want to take these ambitious young builders and instil a kind of Silicon Valley mindset in them so that then they can go ahead, test things quickly, and build what they want to.”

You can listen to the full interview on the Big Tech Show on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Big Tech Show is in association with Square.