Saturday 24 February 2018

It's a novel new workspace - on the water in Silicon Docks

Dublin's latest startup hub is on a barge
Dublin's latest startup hub is on a barge
Dublin's latest startup hub is on a barge
Dublin's latest startup hub is on a barge
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Looking to house your startup somewhere in the Silicon Docks?

With rents going through the roof, one young entrepreneur has launched a novel co-working space -- out on the water.

Graham Barker’s DoSpace facility is a co-working office set on a barge that is moored in different spots along the Grand Canal Basin. It has modern desks, phones, a separate conferencing room and good wifi throughout. It also has a stocked kitchen and, on good days, a barbecue facility on the stern of the vessel.

“This is just the first vessel,” said Barker. “I’ll have another one coming up here soon and then, hopefully, a third one after that.”

Barker is a former Cisco executive who spent seven years in Ireland before branching out on his own startup. A love of boats combined with a crisis in office space for tech startups in prime areas of Dublin brought him around to founding DoSpace, which he hopes to expand outside Ireland soon.

The barge can hold up to 16 people, with eight people already signed up. It costs “around €350” per month to take a desk, including drinks, nibbles and wifi.

Some estate agents have described the commercial office market in Dublin 2 as a “crisis” with capacity almost full and rents skyrocketing.

Alternative co-working spaces nearby, such as Dogpatch Labs in the CHQ building on the north quays, are proving popular with startups looking for short leases and who can’t afford standard office rents.

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