Dogpatch has a new patch – 40,000 sq ft extra space includes urban garden

11 Nov 2016

The new urban garden at Dogpatch Labs. Every year, the IFSC-based co-working space hosts events like CoderDojo that attract 5,000 attendees. Image: Dogpatch Labs

Dogpatch Labs has expanded its start-up and co-working space to nearly 40,000 sq ft, spanning three floors, including a new indoor urban garden on the upper mezzanine floor.

Last year, Dogpatch completed redevelopment of 19th century vaults underneath its location at the Chq building in Dublin’s IFSC.

In recent weeks, we reported how Irish self-made billionaire Dr Pearse Lyons was – through his company Alltech – bringing a major agritech accelerator to Dogpatch Labs.

The expansion of anchor tenants like Pivotal – one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley – has helped pave the way for founder Paddy Walsh to turn the third floor into extra office space and an indoor urban garden.

‘Dogpatch Labs has been the ideal starting point for Pivotal Labs to launch in Dublin’

“This expansion has been made possible by growing in tandem with Pivotal Labs, resident with us since August,” Walsh said.

“They’ve been an ideal partner – from mentoring start-ups to supporting developer meet-ups, they are completely aligned with the tech community ethos.

“The Vaults has become the central event space for tech in Ireland, and now with the Urban Garden, we’re creating a unique hot-desking space, enabling us to have a much greater impact on Ireland’s start-up ecosystem – including new initiatives like First Fridays for Start-ups, supported by Google for Entrepreneurs.”

Space and time continuum

Dogpatch has a new patch – 40,000 sq ft extra space includes urban garden

Inside the Pivotal offices at the mezzanine in Dogpatch Labs. Image: Dogpatch Labs

Currently, 40 companies – ranging from Irish start-ups to US multinationals like Twilio – are using the space.

Pivotal Labs, for example, has grown from one to 80 staff at Dogpatch. The company has taken over half of the mezzanine.

The other half of the mezzanine has been transformed into an 8,000 sq ft indoor urban garden.

A pivotal starting point

“Dogpatch Labs has been the ideal starting point for Pivotal Labs to launch in Dublin,” said Kevin Olsen, director of Pivotal Labs.

“From the first week we arrived, they had arranged us to sponsor developer meet-ups, design meet-ups and help grow our profile in Ireland’s tech scene. Now that we’re moving to our second phase and higher headcount, we are delighted to be able to continue to be part of this community.”

Irish corporates such as Ulster Bank are also using the space for off-site innovation hubs.

More than 200 tech and innovation events, attended by over 5,000 attendees, are held every year at Dogpatch.

Another aspect contributing to the expansion of Dogpatch has been its increased relationship with Google – with new initiatives aimed at regional start-ups supported by Google for Entrepreneurs.

On the first Friday of every month, regional entrepreneurs are being encouraged to come to Dogpatch in Dublin for mentoring and hot-desking space.

“The Urban Garden provides an important physical focal point for the community – providing much needed space for start-ups from across Ireland, as well as a complementary layer to the programmes we support, such as Startup Weekend, Adopt A Startup and Startup Next,” said Paddy Flynn from Google Ireland.

The development of the new space at Dogpatch Labs cost around €1.5m and was financed by a loan from Ulster Bank.

The development is also co-financed by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, a strategic funding source for SMEs.

“This is another example of how Ulster Bank is supporting the development of the tech and SME sector in Ireland through sustainable debt financing,” said Gerry Mallon, the new CEO at Ulster Bank.

Maeve McMahon, director of Customer Experience and Products, Ulster Bank, added that the bank’s customer innovation team works face-to-face with innovative tech companies.

“It made sense for us to offer meaningful help to support Dogpatch and the Urban Garden and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the years ahead and by extension, supporting fintech companies and start-ups of all shapes and sizes.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years