How Polaris & Dublin can help European startups get to the US

Nov 17, 2011
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I spent last week in Dublin, where I visited a bunch of great spots in the Dublin tech scene, including the brand new startup accelerator,  Dogpatch Labs Europe.  Note the word, Europe.  Not just Dublin, but Europe.
This is notable because Dogpatch Labs is run by Polaris Ventures, the US VC firm.  Polaris already has Dotpatches in Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York City, and some hot startups that have passed through the residency include Instagram, Rapportive and TaskRabbit.  And Polaris seems committed to making Dublin the city through which it will get to know all of Europe.  Dogpatch Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Noel Ruane, says, “the Dublin location will host entrepreneurs from across Europe, creating a truly global community of Dogpatch entrepreneurs.”

“France or Ireland, it’s all Europe!”

Here in Europe it’s pretty easy for us to stay in our linguistically guarded ecosystems and debate the relative merits of London, Berlin, Paris and wherever else.  But it’s worth noting that to many in the USA, Europe is Europe, and the subtle differences among our ecosystems are lost in much the same way as a barnyardy Bourgogne is lost on an Oklahoma rancher.
The great news here is that American VCs are taking some real steps towards investing seriously in Europe.  And if they’re going to see Dublin as the gateway to Europe, then European entrepreneurs might also want to consider Dublin as a gateway to the US.

Guiness and Startups and VCs, oh my!

And for French entrepreneurs specifically, Dublin offers a lot of complimentary characteristics to Paris.  Obviously, the language factor is pretty massive, but in terms of commercialization Dublin has built up an impressive wealth of multilingual, multinational sales talent adept in web marketing, with giants like Google, Facebook, and soon Twitter running their user support and ad operations out of Ireland’s capital.  French startups looking to internationalize — not just to the US, but to anywhere in Europe — would be wise to take a look at Dublin.  At the same time, Ireland doesn’t have nearly the engineering power that France does.
So if you’re looking to sell overseas, or if you just want to get your hands on some American VC dollars, hop on the bird to Dublin and check it out.  Just remember to give yourself some extra time to get to Beauvais airport.
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