By @SimonCocking

Interview with Cian O’Ceallaigh @CianOC from Dogpatch Labs

How was the last 12 months for Dogpatch?

The last twelve months have been an absolute whirlwind. Twelve months ago Dogpatch was based in Barrow Street and we really had no idea that fact would change. The move to The chq Building has been a massive success and the chq team for helping us out during our development here in the building.

Anything you would do differently if you could?

I think we all have those little things we would do differently. Luckily for us, those things are small such as selecting one colour paint over another or one design over the other but on the whole, any decision made has contributed to the success you see today and Dogpatch just wouldn’t be Dogpatch if we had’ve done anything differently.

Unfortunately I can’t share any photos of the vaults with you as they’re currently a construction site with restricted access. At the moment all things are going to plan and we hope to open our events space in time for Web Summit. One of the most exciting features of the vaults will be our as of yet unnamed bar (suggestions are welcome). The bar will serve as the focal point of our downstairs breakout space. Hopefully our bar can bring more stories of casual introductions which lead to innovative ideas, businesses and developments that change the world.

Who are you currently collaborating with?

Our partnerships with Ulster Bank and Google For Entrepreneurs are the most important collaborations to date. Becoming a member of Google’s Tech Hub network shows just how much Dogpatch has grown into a vital component of Dublin’s tech ecosystem. With the support of Google, we look forward to seeing many of our startups scale, begin life in their own offices knowing they have received the best support and encouragement Dublin can offer. In essence that is the real kernel that Google For Entrepreneurs is built around.

What are you excited by at the moment in the tech sector?

Fintech is a hugely promising area of technology here in Ireland. Here in Dogpatch there is a firm belief that Dublin can be the European Fintech hub in the next 5 years. Developing the Ulster Bank Innovation Hub within the walls of Dogpatch enables our startups to work alongside the men and women of one of Ireland’s largest banking institutions, all this in the beating heart of Dublin’s Docklands.

Where do you hope to be in next 1 ­ 3 years with Dogpatch?

The hope for Dogpatch is not an ever growing model, we want to provide quality to our residents and create a launchpad that no matter what your idea is, the community of Dogpatchers around you will help you succeed.

Do you feel UK / Irish / European startups have different strengths and weaknesses compared to US based one?

I feel at times American startups can feel intimidated by the nature of the Irish ecosystem, everyone here knows each other or knows a friend of the other and they can feel like outsiders forcing their way in. Conversely Irish startups face a culture shock, the nature of American business is the focus is business there’s no sidetracks or distractions they just do their business with minimal fuss.

Tips for startups to be a success?

The only tip I can give is build a network of advisors and friends who have succeeded before but don’t be afraid to ignore them and never follow them blindly as the path they took may not be the same you want/need to take.

Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?

There’s no real easy way to find a balance in life, the simplest advice I can give is surround yourself with good people. I’m a complete fiend for answering emails outside of hours or turning a Saturday into a working day but I’ve been lucky in the sense I’ve always had someone there to hide my phone or drag me away from the coalface. I find it very important to spend as much time as possible outdoors, so that’s why I choose to walk to work, even on days when I would really rather not, I force myself to get out there and put the phone on silent for even 10 minutes.

Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?

I think the thing that has brought Dogpatch this far, and in honesty every single member of the team is simply, none of us know how to say no to a challenge. I know for myself, I’m not an especially talented man but one thing I’ve always worked as hard as possible and that’s what has brought me here today.

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