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Back to Press Releases 28 July 2021

Dogpatch Labs Announces 5 Year Deal with ESB for Sustainable Innovation Programme

  • ESB Staff on “X_Potential” program will work with leading entrepreneurs in Ireland’s top startup hub
  • New sustainable business ideas to support ESB’s ambition to lead transition to a low carbon future

Dublin, Ireland - 28 July:

Today Dogpatch Labs, a European platform for innovation and entrepreneurship, has announced a five year partnership with ESB. Dogpatch Labs will run ESB’s X_Potential Incubator, a structured programme that allows staff to propose new low-carbon ideas, and work in teams like startups to develop them into new sustainable and commercially viable businesses in areas such as transport, infrastructure and stimulating the hydrogen economy.

Dogpatch Labs was chosen by ESB as part of a competitive tender process. Its track-record developing new tools and methods to get complex propositions to market quickly for corporate partners were key factors in winning the bid. Dogpatch Labs runs a number of award-winning innovation programmes, including the X-Potential Incubator 2019-2020, and is also home to Ireland’s national startup accelerator programme, the NDRC.

“We have immense entrepreneurial talent within ESB, and by immersing staff within the Dogpatch startup community we’ve seen what they can achieve. It’s very impressive,” said Denis O’Leary, Strategy and Innovation, ESB. “The length and scale of this new partnership demonstrates our belief in this programme and our staff’s ability to bring new sustainable business ideas to life.”

The annual incubator programme is run over three months each year, with top entrepreneurs, sector experts and startups from Dogpatch Labs’ extensive international network supporting staff throughout the process.

It culminates in a “Demo Day”, where ESB staff have the opportunity to engage with and pitch their ideas to senior leadership.

The X-Potential Incubator has already demonstrated success with 5 propositions from the 2020 programme, which were developed in Dogpatch Labs, progressing to the next stage by either developing partnerships, securing funding or executing pilots.

“ESB has never been afraid to think big, and our work to date has proven that there is an abundance of entrepreneurial talent within the company,” says David Power, Director of Innovation at Dogpatch Labs. “The key to success is instilling a startup mindset - staff need the environment, structure and network to bring new, impactful propositions to life. That’s what we do at Dogpatch.”

“At ESB we’re acutely aware that the energy sector is changing - from offshore wind and hydrogen storage along with the increased adoption of electric vehicles. ESB is on the front line of an energy revolution. Dogpatch Labs have a proven innovation process and give us access to a global network of entrepreneurs, potential partners and sector expertise,” said Geraldine Moloney, Head of New Business Incubation at ESB.

Dogpatch Labs has run award-winning corporate incubator programmes for leading companies such as American agricultural company Alltech, the third largest reinsurance company in the world Hannover Re, and the NatWest Group. Recently it was awarded the multi-million euro NDRC contract to deliver Ireland’s national startup accelerator programme on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

It is also one of 50 hubs selected worldwide as a member of the Google for Startups network, giving it access to innovation best practices and the shared experience of a global network of startup hubs. As a winner of Google’s Global Citizenship award Dogpatch Labs is recognised as a leader within the network, cultivating a strong reputation as a top European hub creating a platform for corporate partners to interact
with the startup ecosystem.

ESB will be speaking about its experience at a free virtual innovation course hosted by Dogpatch Labs on September 9th.

Those interested in learning more about how corporate innovation can benefit an organisation commercially can apply here:


About Dogpatch Labs, Dublin
Dogpatch Labs’ mission is to accelerate the development of Ireland's entrepreneurial ecosystem, by providing a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation. Located in the historic CHQ building in the heart of the Dublin Docklands, it is home to over 250 startups and over 500 members from 30 countries.

Dogpatch Labs is a proud member of Google for Startups, a global community of startup hubs. As winner of Google’s Global Citizenship Award in 2017, Dogpatch Labs was recognised as one of the leading hubs in this global network.

Listed as one of Crunchbase’s “top 15 global startup incubators”, Dogpatch Labs events, membership and programmes have supported over 250+ startups & alumni over the last decade, who have raised a combined €490M+ and created over 2,000 jobs. These include Intercom, an Irish ‘unicorn’ valued at over €1 billion which has established over 280 high-value jobs in Ireland.

Dogpatch Labs delivers corporate innovation programmes to a range of industry partners including Ulster Bank, Google, ESB, Pivotal, Unilever and Alltech. One of its notable programmes is Alltech’s Pearse Lyons Accelerator, considered one of the top agtech programmes globally with startups applying from 52 countries.

Links: | @dogpatchlabs |