David Power, Dogpatch; Geraldine Moloney, ESB; Patrick Walsh, Dogpatch

ESB chooses Dogpatch Labs for sustainability incubator

X-Potential Incubator to run over three months
David Power, Dogpatch; Geraldine Moloney, ESB; Patrick Walsh, Dogpatch

29 July 2021

Dogpatch Labs has announced a five-year partnership with ESB. The innovation and entrepreneurship platform has agreed to run ESB’s X-Potential Incubator, a structured programme that allows staff to propose new low-carbon ideas, and work in teams like start-ups 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 in 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 start-up accelerator programme, the NDRC.

“We have immense entrepreneurial talent within ESB, and by immersing staff within the Dogpatch start-up community we’ve seen what they can achieve. It’s very impressive,” said Denis O’Leary, strategy & 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 start-ups 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 five 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 start-up 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 start-up accelerator programme on behalf of the Dept of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

It is also one of 50 hubs selected worldwide as a member of the Google for Start-ups network, giving it access to innovation best practices and the shared experience of a global network of start-up 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 start-up ecosystem. 

ESB will be speaking about its experience at a free virtual innovation course hosted by Dogpatch Labs on 9 September. Those interested in learning more about how corporate innovation can benefit an organisation commercially can apply at https://dogpatch.click/innovation.

TechCentral Reporters

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