Dumbo Startup Lab : High Bootstrap Ratio Per Square Foot

by • 9, January, 2014 • Brooklyn MakersComments Off on Dumbo Startup Lab : High Bootstrap Ratio Per Square Foot7074

It’s no secret to anybody that DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a pricy area to rent. Outside the Dumbo Startup Lab building, we couldn’t help but notice the thirty-something crowd walking around with yoga mats and high-end organic deli bags. Do these people actually work? Anyways. We took the elevator up to our meeting.


The Dumbo Startup Lab is a co-working space where young and fresh businesses can rent space or single desks in an environment they usually could not afford to themselves. The square foot in this area is around 30$ and I don’t think you can rent 10 square feet lots, sorry. The Lab is operated by John Coghlan, who also runs an surf shorts e-commerce business on the side.


“What is cool about a place like this, is that young companies can simply have a fast functional office solution and jump right into their product development. This environment is also very interesting for networking or sharing good practices”.

Jon also organizes small seminars and mingling activities to make sure the creative pollen is floating around. This focus on product attitude is not new to the startup culture. Companies you’ll find in these co-working spaces are bootstrapping all their resources to launch something on the smallest time scale.  He quickly introduces me to a smart man who rents space there.

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Meet Manish Sinha, co-founder of Qhojo. I asked him the obvious What is your elevator pitch question.

“We’ve developed a platform where photographers can lease their equipment to each other. We want to become the AirBnB for all photo material.”

These kind of mesh models are really popular right now and he tells me that another startup on the West Coast is building the same thing right now. So speed is obviously a factor and that’s why you don’t have time to shop around for a first office like two rich girls strolling down fifth avenue with some take out lattes.



Back with Jon, I ask him if they have rooftop access. And that is when the magic happens. I never get used to rooftop views in big cities. It’s like you are reigning on the town and suddenly, everything seems possible.

Feel free to contact Dumbo Startup Lab if you need some space or simply if you are in town for business.

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