Dublin’s Dogpatch Labs achieves 60-40 Irish-international start-up mix

18 Jun 2015

Pictured: Patrick Walsh, Dogpatch Labs in Dublin

Dublin’s newest co-working space Dogpatch Labs, based in the heart of Dublin’s IFSC, has achieved a mix of 60pc local start-ups and 40pc IDA-backed start-ups, its manager Patrick Walsh said.

Dogpatch Labs’ reincarnation as a co-working space became formal back in February with the opening of new offices at the CHQ Building in the IFSC. Prior to that, it existed as a start-up incubator linked with venture capital player Polaris Ventures.

Dogpatch opened its doors in Dublin in September 2011 on an invite-only basis, hosting fast-emerging Irish start-ups such as Intercom, Boxever, Trustev, Logentries, Profitero and CoderDojo. The new Dogpatch Labs – aka, Dogpatch Labs 2.0 – will instead operate on a “pay to play” basis under the leadership of young tech entrepreneur Patrick Walsh.

Walsh said that in the last few months the community has grown to 25 companies spread across 150 desks.

“The split is 60/40, Irish/International, and we’ll stick to that,” he said.

Building a unique community

Current tenants from the international scene include Udemy, NuoDB and Twilio, while local start-ups include ChangeX as well as regionally headquartered but fast-moving start-ups like Cork’s Teamwork and Waterford’s NearForm.

“We think this is a really synergetic mix and one of the nice things about having an open plan start-up space is how the international guys really help the Irish start-ups and those relationships are invaluable. It’s an interesting dynamic we are starting to see unfold.”

As well as the open plan offices Walsh said that Dogpatch plans to make use of the vast vaults network underneath the co-working space that could be used for additional office and events space.

Another strategic string to Dogpatch’s bow, he said, is the rising tide of fintech start-ups and Dogpatch’s position right next to IFSC-licensed financial giants based in Dublin could prove to be beneficial for start-ups and financial firms alike.

The recent closure of Wayra’s accelerator space has left a vacuum for start-up events space in Dublin and Walsh said that he intends to fill that gap.

“Our initial focus is on where we have planning permission, which is full.”

He said the plan is to keep Dogpatch Labs at a size that may not exceed 200 people on a floor. “Our ambition is to create a credible community than just scale-up. There can be a trade-off between scale and building something unique, we want to focus on the unique.”

Another plan Walsh is working on is building up a network of international co-working spaces that members of the Dublin community can utilise when travelling overseas.

“We are growing our membership and we have people coming in constantly to use our hotdesking facilities – angel investors, ex-Googlers. We think that we can cater for the wider ecosystem and are looking to partner with like-minded co-working spaces in other cities in other countries who could also benefit from letting their members use our space when they’re in town.”

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