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A Music Startup's New Brooklyn Home

CrowdSurge needed room to grow, and sought a neighborhood that fit its vibe. It landed in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Here's how it built out its new office, with soul.

Founded in London in 2008, CrowdSurge--a startup that creates ticket pre-sales campaigns for musicians--first made a name for itself in the United States in 2010 when it helped Paul McCartney sell tickets in a fan-friendly way for his gig at Yankee Stadium.

The first tiny North American office CrowdSurge rented was in Midtown Manhattan. It not only didn't fit the whole growing team of employees, but also didn't fit the company's mellow, jam-band-loving groove. (Nate Lew, CrowdSurge's global head of strategic partnerships, estimates that his roughly 40 colleagues in New York have seen a collective total of 300 Phish concerts.)

The company started its search for a new office midway through last year. Here's what happened from there (scroll down or click through for images).

1
Gimme Shelter
Gimme Shelter
After scoping out a few offices in Manhattan, the CrowdSurge team turned to Brooklyn. When prices in Williamsburg, to the north, seemed too steep, they turned to the Dumbo neighborhood (an acronym for "down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass"), right on the water, with clear views of Lower Manhattan.

2
Hello, Brooklyn
Hello, Brooklyn
They found an airy, 4,500-square-foot loft office in 45 Main Street, in Dumbo. It's a former warehouse that today houses many creative agencies, including Big Spaceship and Huge. It's just a block from the sprawling waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The company moved in October, 2013.
3
Changes
Changes
Over January and February, Crowdsurge did a design overhaul of its new Dumbo office, updating the kitchen and keeping the open feel of the office, which had formerly been occupied by a creative design firm.

4
Shine a Light
Shine a Light
When it came time to decorate, the CrowdSurge team decided it wanted a cool, mellow feel. It went for shades of grey and blue paint, with a glossy natural concrete floor and exposed ceilings. A hanging partial wall of plants adds extra vibrancy to the bright space.
5
Come Together
Come Together
A formal white conference room didn't fit the guitar-strewn office's desired feel. So, a living-room vibe serves the same purpose. (Bonus: It can be closed off for impromptu jam sessions among members of the three in-office bands that have formed.)
6
Tangled Up in Blue
Tangled Up in Blue
Hazard-sign orange and cerulean accents make this "conference room"-slash-hangout area feel a lot more causal than the average meeting zone.

7
Relax Your Mind
Relax Your Mind
At the end of a long work day, the office kitchen doubles as a bar, for winding down before the commute home--however short. "I live two stops away on the train, and most employees seem to live on the F line, so it's really easy," Lew says.
8
Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home
Now that CrowdSurge has called Dumbo home for nearly a year, it is forming bonds with the other music-oriented startups in the area. Inc. has taken a deeper look at that new startup ecosystem, tucked under the Manhattan Bridge, here.
IMAGE: Courtesy Company
Last updated: Jun 25, 2014

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.




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