Patrick Collison was born to Lily and Denis Collison in 1988. The eldest of three children (two younger brothers, John and Tommy), he took his first computer course when he was eight years old at the University of Limerick and began learning computer programming at the age of ten.
He entered the 40th Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition with his project on artificial intelligence (nicknamed 'Isaac' after Isaac Newton, whom Patrick admired), finishing as individual runner-up. He re-entered the following year, and won first place at the age of sixteen on 14 January 2005. His project involved the creation of Croma, a LISP-type programming language.
After attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a time, Collison dropped out. In 2007 he set up software company 'Shuppa' (a play on the Irish word 'siopa', meaning 'shop') in Limerick with his brother John Collison. Enterprise Ireland did not allocate funding to the company, prompting a move to California after Silicon Valley's Y Combinator showed interest, where they merged with two Oxford graduates, Harjeet and Kulveer Taggar, and the company became Auctomatic.
Both Collison and his younger brother John were featured on a young Irish persons rich list aired on an RTÉ television show during the 2008 Christmas period.
In 2010, Patrick co-founded Stripe, which received backing from Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Sequoia Capital.
In November 2016, the Collison brothers became the world's youngest self-made billionaires, worth at least $1.1 billion, after an investment in Stripe from CapitalG and General Catalyst Partners valued the company at $9.2 billion.