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Digital Dumbo, Here We Come!

Filed in project(s): Stories

I’m pretty excited about DUMBO in New York at the moment, especially since Whispr Group NYC is moving there. What DUMBO is? Read on.

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I found a good DUMBO description over here:

“First, some background on DUMBO. Like many hip urban areas where the name comes from the common shortening of names for people and places (J-Lo, T-Mac, LoDo, SoHo, etc), it is an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

[pullquote]This is New York City where incredible demand can make any and all land valuable.[/pullquote]

Because it sits in a V beneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, it was what the real estate community would consider useless land: under elevated freeways, on the third side and at-grade freeway, and the fourth waterfront. But, this was the East River, long considered the outfall for 19th and 20th century dirty industry’s effluent. It also had terrible access. How do you get there, parachute out of a moving vehicle from the bridge above?


[pullquote]Small startups began pooling skills, collaborating on projects that otherwise might have been too big for one or the other.[/pullquote]

All of its built-in undesirability made for cheap land with an existing urban fabric, some old warehouse space. This is New York City where incredible demand can make any and all land valuable. It also had a subway station at its periphery.

In it, creative start-ups found first, cheap space. Presumably through various previous associations that cheap space was then broadcast to creative acquaintances looking for similar, funky loft-type space. Eventually, as they began to agglomerate still under the radar, digital DUMBO came along and provided a digital center of gravity to go with the emerging physical one.

The digital version brought these businesses and the individuals behind them together. People who would otherwise just pass each other on the street or stand nearby waiting for the next F train, were now meeting at events organized by Digital DUMBO, sharing ideas, sharing business cards, and small startups began pooling skills, collaborating on projects that otherwise might have been too big for one or the other.”

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As written by DumboNYC.com, “In 1978, the naming of Dumbo was conceived by resident artists as a way to make the area sound silly and unattractive to people looking to buy real estate here.”

There are to date some really interesting digital agencies in DUMBO and it sure feels nice to add Whispr Group (H&M, Oriflame, Lanvin, Bobbi Brown, Groupon) to this list:

BigSpaceship (AMC, Miramax, Paramount Pictures, Coca-cola)

Brooklyn Digital Foundry (Gucci, HUGO Boss, Viraline, Steiner Studios, Guggenheim)

Carrot Creative (Disney, Ford, NFL, Crayola, The Onion)

Domani Studios (Sears, Gucci, NASCAR)

Freedom+Partners (Comedy Central, Volkswagon, Toyota, Adobe)

HUGE (JetBlue, IKEA, CNN, NutriSystem)

HUSH (Sony Ericsson, Cheerios, Hyundai)

Purple, Rock, Scissors (First National Bank, TruTV)

Space150 (Starz, Toro, Dairy Queen, Target, Best Buy)

Lost Boys International (Nokia, 1800 Tequila, Reyka Vodka)

The JAR Group (MTV, Unilever, Time Inc, TuneCore)

Here’s a model of our DUMBO office from founder Joakim Leijon’s Instagram:

e636a3c858f911e1b9f1123138140926 7

Now the only question is, where are we setting up Stockholm’s Creative Digital District? :)

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer is the creator of Doktor Spinn, Mad Science Digital, PR of Sweden and Digital PR School (launching in 2015). Join his VIP email list The Loop here.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

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How to comment: I have a “living room policy” for comments. Be cool and add your thoughts to the discussion as if we’re chilling in my living room. Critical comments are welcome, but bring some positive energy to the discussion — or I won’t add your comment.

Nice post Jerry – Welcome to the hood on behalf of Digital DUMBO! -Andrew Zarick

Thanks, Andrew!