Back in June, while I was in Dublin, I visited Dogpatch labs. I met Sarah almost a year ago in the Websummit in Lisbon.
I decided to walk from my hotel to their offices. The route was beautiful, and I had the chance to see a bit of Dublin, as my time was limited. Their offices are housed within CHQ building in the Docklands.
“It was built in 1820 as a new bonded warehouse to store large and valuable cargos of tobacco, tea and spirits. The dockers and merchants knew it as the Tobacco Store, or later, as Stack A. The building was made famous when it hosted the Crimean War Banquet in 1856 celebrating the return of 3,000 Irish soldiers.” CHQ History Website.
Now it houses the EPIC Irish Museum, a food court, shops, and many events and exhibitions.
While in the Dogpatch offices, Sarah took me on a tour of the part of the building they are in. The basement was a renovated tobacco warehouse, where now they host their clients’ events. Also, they have a ping pong table in the middle of their offices, which is an amusing gesture when you want to have a break or to socialise.
What is the main focus of the company?
We believe that Ireland can be a top entrepreneurial nation, and our overall mission is to accelerate the country’s startup and innovation ecosystem. We’re a startup and innovation hub in the Dublin Docklands in Ireland. We help entrepreneurs succeed with space, events, programmes, and the NDRC, Ireland’s national startup accelerator.
In 3 words, tell us how it is to work in this company?
Dynamic, impactful, exciting
What makes the team stand out?
We’re all hardworking and focused and love the Irish ‘craic’ and connecting with our community of over 500 startups. Every team member goes above and beyond to help the founders in our community and networks. We have a great mix of folks from the US, Netherlands, Brazil, and Germany, as well as Ireland, on the team, and we always make an effort to learn from and support each other – while having fun.
What does a typical work day look like?
Depending on your role or inclination, a typical day can be either remote or on-site – we’re very flexible. The innovation team could be on-site with our corporate partners running a programme to help their employees’ work with’ or ‘work like’ startups. The ecosystem development team could be traveling to one of our partner hubs across the country, getting ready to run First Fridays, Ireland’s largest monthly startup ecosystem event. Or the accelerator team could be helping the latest NDRC cohort with their pitches in preparation for Demo Day. If you’re in marketing and events, you’ll capture behind-the-scenes footage, interview our community and alumni, or set up a tech meetup. Our community team could be connecting the startups in our space, giving tours to new members, or organising a party to bring the community together.
What are your usual working hours?
We usually work 9 am – 5.30 pm unless there’s an event in the evening. We welcome 10,000 visitors through our doors to our events every year, so for people on the team, there are always plenty of opportunities to meet new people and get involved in the events in our space.
Name some of your clients (if possible)
We’re home to over 125 startups and over 400 members from 30 countries, and our community startups include Supermetrics, Woebot, and Dataships. Our corporate innovation partners include Ireland’s national energy body (ESB) and a global FMCG (Unilever). We count many of Ireland’s fastest-growing tech companies, including unicorn Intercom, as our alumni, as well as Voysis, Boxever, and Profitero.
Which meetings take the longest?
The monthly company All-Hands – lots to cover!
If you wouldn’t be doing this, what would you do?
We’re all startup-obsessed, so if we weren’t helping startups, we’d be working in startups! Many people on the team are entrepreneurs, so they’ve previously built startups and are now helping others do the same.
How did the pandemic affect the team and working conditions?
We all went from being on-site all of the time to be fully remote. It was tough, but we really pulled together and pivoted all of our programmes from physical to virtual overnight. It was amazing to see the teamwork involved and how quickly we could learn and master new skills. Our Senior People Manager Jenny was always on hand to check in, and she ensured we came together as a company throughout the week to stay connected.
Do you have any team bonding activities?
We play tag rugby every Thursday with our colleagues and community members, which is a lot of fun. Our team name is “Moves Like Tagger,” and we’ve got our sights on the cup this year.