Early stage startups find home at Dogpatch Labs
Ryan Spoon, a VC with Polaris Ventures, helped start Dogpatch Labs in 2008 as a place to foster innovation for early stage startups. SmartPlanet visits Dogpatch Labs to meet Spoon and hear from Dogpatch's newest entrepreneurs.
>> Sarah Paiji: If I see a great product like a shoe like this in a store, I can snap a photo with the app and then upload it. Whereby then another user, she can browse by What's Hot.
>> Sumi Das: Internet entrepreneur, Sarah Paiji, is growing her startup Snapette at Dogpatch Labs, a community setup in 2008 by VC outfit Polaris Ventures to foster innovation among very early stage startups.
>> Ryan Spoon: We believe and I think the people who are drawn to be here believed that participating with a larger set of people makes them more gullible and more productive.
>> Sumi Das: Ryan Spoon, a principle with Polaris and cofounder of Dogpatch Labs says, the environment offers entrepreneurs coworking space, but more important, a place to interact and share knowledge.
>> Ryan Spoon: One might be strong in design and the other is strong in mobile, and those two, you know, give and take. And that to me is the primary benefit people get.
>> Sumi Das: Their labs are spread globally with offices in Dublin, New York, Cambridge, and now their newest, here in Palo Alto. Spoon further explains there are no contracts designed when coming into the Dogpatch.
>> Ryan Spoon: We take no equity. There's no right of first refusal. There is no commitment. There's no cost. The exchange is companies are here for about six months. More often than not, the reason for leaving is that they want to grow.
>> Sumi Das: Since getting started, Dogpatch has bred more than 350 startups. Of that total, Polaris has invested in about 4.5 percent of the ventures. The companies themselves have raised more than 150 million dollars in funding from various partners. Some companies you may have heard of include JibJab, Formspring and Instagram.
>> Sumi Das: Andrew Machado is one of the latest entrepreneurs to incubate his startup at Dogpatch. He's developed an iPad app, Open Home Pro, which helps real estate agents show off their properties and connect with perspective buyers.
>> Andrew Machado: User walks in, instead of asking account's user info, they can come here and just sort of swipe through the photos, and then with a single click, just get right into the, you know, giving up their information, name, e-mail, are you working with an agent.
>> Sumi Das: Spoon says, getting a first look at startups like Open Home Pro and Snapette when they're in the nascent stages of development is what makes the Dogpatch ventures so smart from an investment perspective.
>> Ryan Spoon: It's a lens into what's happening ahead of it happening. So much of the investment world is relationships and this is a--these are real deep relationships. They are not meeting people over a 30-minute PowerPoint deck.
>> Sumi Das: For SmartPlanet, I'm Sumi Das.