Polaris’s Dogpatch Labs Evolving in Boston, Dublin, Closing in NY, Palo Alto
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“Those markets have really developed differently than they have in Cambridge and Dublin,” Barrett says. “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.” (Think General Assembly, 500 Startups, Plug and Play Tech Center, and dozens of co-working and community/education spaces for entrepreneurs.)
Instead, Polaris is looking to pursue what Barrett calls a “distributed approach” in New York and Silicon Valley—working with local colleges and entrepreneurial students and faculty, as well as serving as mentors in local accelerator programs and other forms of startup outreach. All of which it already does, but it will be doing more of the above.
Part of me thinks the Bay Area operation never fully recovered from the Pier 38 shutdown in San Francisco in 2011—Dogpatch Labs’ original location. That place was a vibrant tech hub that once housed the likes of Instagram.
A final note: The Dogpatch evolution might be seen as part of a trend toward an “incubator bubble” popping. But consider that over its lifetime, Dogpatch Labs has housed some 550 entrepreneurs and 330 startups, and that companies across the network have gone on to raise more than $250 million in financing.
And since 2009, the following well-known startups have spent time in Dogpatch Labs Cambridge: docTrackr, Localytics, peerTransfer, Energesis Pharmaceuticals, and Yesware, along with up-and-comers like Apptopia, ByteLight, CraveLabs, Kibits, and Spindle. That’s just in Boston.