In a move that will sadden many in the New York and Silicon Valley tech scenes, Polaris Venture Partners has decided to close down Dogpatch Labs‘ offices in New York and Palo Alto, while conversely expanding its presence in Dublin, Xconomy reports. Changes are coming to the company’s Boston campus too, as Dogpatch Labs is moving out of Microsoft’s space and into a new venue, and will eventually charge startups for rent.
For those unfamiliar with Dogpatch Labs, it’s important to note that the organization lies somewhere between a coworking space and a startup accelerator, having offered residents 6 months of free office space and exposure to mentors, without requiring them to pay for rent or give up equity. Dogpatch has graduated quite a bit of noteworthy companies since its inception, including Instagram, TaskRabbit, Turntable.fm, Forrst (which was just acquired, again) and Barkbox.
Dogpatch’s decision to expand in Dublin is particularly of interest. Dave Barrett, Partner at Polaris, tells Xconomy that he wants Dogpatch to “go where he feels there’s a void.” He states that “Dublin is not dissimilar to where Cambridge was three to four years ago.”
Barrett details that the tech scenes in NY and Palo Alto “have really developed differently than they have in Cambridge and Dublin. Palo Alto and New York City now have similar communities as Dogpatch. Many have adopted the open community philosophy. We’re not unique anymore in those markets.”
Whether or not NY or the Valley has lost its magic isn’t really the point here, rather it seems that Polaris knows how difficult it is to operate in a saturated market, and when it comes to emerging hubs like Dublin, there’s an incredible amount of room for exploration and growth. Saturation is the cause for why 500 Startups decided to launch a coworking space in NY instead of an accelerator.
That’s not to say a saturated market is always bad — it’s working just fine for the Valley — but the operational requirements are always going to be different.
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