Vaulting ambition: Dogpatch Labs’ Dublin Vaults space surpasses 80-event milestone

18 Mar 2016

The Vaults beneath Dogpatch Labs at chq Building in Dublin's IFSC fit the bill for a much-needed focal point for the gathering of the city's start-up and tech communities

After just three months, Dublin start-up space Dogpatch Labs’ new Vaults events space has hosted more than 80 events, which have been attended by a total of 4,000 people.

The new 8,000 sq ft events space is located in the historic 200-year-old iconic vaults below the Chq Building at the IFSC in Dublin and were refurbished in partnership with Ulster Bank.

In August, Dogpatch scored a major coup after forging a partnership with Google to add Dublin to its global network of Tech Hubs in a move that will see more and more Google start-up events moved to take place at Dogpatch Labs

The Vaults includes a 100-person events space, additional 30-person mini spaces, various meeting rooms, a hotdesking facility and a bar.

Focal point for Dublin’s growing tech community


A CoderDojo in the Vaults

According to the managing director of Dogpatch Labs in Dublin, Patrick Walsh, the space was created to address the lack of a focal point for Dublin’s tech community to gather.

As well as hosting meet-ups and events for partners, the space is being hired by corporates such as Virgin Media and ESB and it is made available for free for community events such as CoderDojo.

“The ecosystem is still growing and we are seeing more and more founders coming to events. One of the categories of events is developer events and we are hosting monthly meet-ups for different languages such as Python and C++ groups,” explained Walsh.

“If they are genuine grassroots movements then we provide the space for free. And while there are a lot of costs that go into that such as AV, sometimes partners might pay for pizza and beer.

“There are lots of existing communities in Dublin that don’t have a physical space to call home and a lot of what we are doing is supporting communities of developer groups like CoderDojo and Women Who Code.”

As well as fireside chats with local founders like Eamon Leonard, Walsh said that the events space is also being hired by corporates like Virgin Media, Aviva, ESB and SAP, for example, which use the space for innovation days and off-sites and immerse themselves in start-up culture.

“For our start-ups, it is also an opportunity to pitch and sell software and some of these meetings have resulted in signed contracts,” Walsh said.

Dogpatch Labs’ reincarnation as a co-working space came about over a year ago, prior to that, it existed as a start-up incubator linked with venture capital player Polaris Ventures.

Operating on a pay-to-play basis, current tenants include some of IDA Ireland’s most promising clients — including NuoDB and Pivotal — while local start-ups include ChangeX, as well as regionally-headquartered but fast-moving start-ups like Cork’s Teamwork and Waterford’s NearForm.

In total, there are more than 34 start-ups based at Dogpatch and, according to Walsh, one in every six is a female-led start-up.

Just before Christmas, Dogpatch Labs was granted planning permission for 18,000 sq ft of new space that will enable the start-up space to expand in the future from its current 22,000 sq ft to potentially 40,000 sq ft.


A hackathon at the Vaults in Dublin’s IFSC

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