The city 1/2 shut us down, but we're going to reopen with a new dedicated conference space and design/maker lab.
(August 24th, 7PM PST) UPDATE: We have raised $193K of $250K. We have $57K left to go in our total renovation fund! You guys are amazing!
If you know a company that might like to sponsor, please direct them here.
UPDATE: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Steve Wozniak, MAKE and Cory Doctorow to the rescue! Thanks!
(Steve donated $666.66, the price of the first Apple computer. Awesome!)
As Seen In:
- Business Insider
- Inc Magazine
- The New York Times
- Mountain View Voice
- Palo Alto Daily / San Jose Mercury News
Who are you?
We are the Hacker Dojo, and for the last 2.5 years we've been empowering entrepreneurs, makers, dreamers, and hackers of all kinds to create their visions of the future.
We're the proud home of the kind of community professional makers rarely have outside of a college, and even in our short time we're proud at the impact we've had: tons of open source contributions, we were the first home of Pinterest, and a community that truly has reached a global impact.
Why are you running a Kickstarter?
- To reopen all the space we pay rent on
- So that we can host conferences again
- To create a dedicated space to host awesome conferences and classes
- To create an awesome makerspace and design studio in one of our new buildings
- To provide more than 6,000 square feet more space for hackers to make awesome things
- So people with disabilities can enjoy the Dojo too.
We are currently not allowed in more than half of the space we pay rent on, not permitted to hold large classes, and not permitted to hold many classes at once. This is due to restrictions placed by the city of Mountain View on the Hacker Dojo. We are looking to lift these restrictions by updating the building, and to create some amazing new resources for our community such as a dedicated event space and makerspace/design studio.
Why Does the Dojo Matter?
- We help many of the projects you love before they get famous, including OpenPhoto, iPhly, Pebble Watches, Biocurious, and many many more. One of our founding directors is also an executive producer on the much-loved Indie Game the Movie.
- Inexpensive space to work has powered some of the most innovative and successful startups in the valley recently, including Pinterest and Word Lens.
- Provides a home for conferences and meetup groups who want to focus on being awesome, not on fundraising.
- Startups founded here create hundreds of local jobs
- Provides a community and access to resources for technical people
- Creates a community where curiosity and a passion for making things is valued
But Don't Take Our Word For It
"...having places like that [Hacker Dojo] are so important to the fabric of the Valley, they need to be supported.” - Margit Wennmachers, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
"My company is currently profitable and our app has been downloaded almost 3 million times. I'm not sure we would have made it anywhere without help from the Hacker Dojo community and the general Silicon Valley tech community." - Otavio Good, Word Lens
"Hacker Dojo is a bastion of hacker culture and supports people looking to build the next big thing." - Danielle Morrill, Referly
The New Spaces
Many conferences and classes that are extremely content-oriented do not have the bandwidth to court sponsorships and locations. We believe that by empowering these events to bootstrap and run with almost no money that we will enrich the intellectual environment for everybody!
With housing prices so high in the Bay Area, we believe that a dedicated space to stretch out and create physical objects will be a valuable commodity and empower many individuals and startups to create things they would otherwise be unable to create.
So what are the prizes?
The incredibly talented Melody Lu has made this beautiful shirt which is exclusive to kickstarter backers. Here's a rough mockup of the design.
The shirts are American Apparel and printed in both unisex and women's sizing. They are available at the $32 pledge level, and also in the boxes of win at $265 and $1337.
The Mural Reward
The first few rewards you can be involved in is a mural that is also being donated by Melody Lu. Here is a mockup of it.
This mural will be customized according to the wishes of a few of our generous donors. You can decide what books will be on the table with the dinosaurs, and what technology they use.
When the Dojo was being founded, 60 exceptional members stepped forward to pay dues before the Dojo even existed. Now we are looking to recognize donors who are willing to step forward in our time of need by creating a second plaque for exceptional donors in our renovation fund.
We can't use these power strips anymore, so they are going to be part of the grab bag at $256 (see sidebar to see the other awesome stuff you get in the box!) Each one will have a Hacker Dojo sticker on it, and we're printing a nice big red "rejected" stamp in case anybody forgets the fire marshall's opinions on such chaos.
Super Pong Machine
We're lucky enough to have Al Alcorn, the designer of Pong, as one of the volunteers in our community. He has offered to sign this Super Pong Machine and to meet with a generous donor who helps save Hacker Dojo.
How Does the Money Reopen the Dojo?
In the last week of June, we received a Conditional Use Permit or CUP from the city of Mountain View. This outlines all the steps we must take in order to make the city happy, and guarantees that if we follow all the steps that we will be permitted to use the Dojo for classes and coworking for a long as we would like so long as we don't change our legal usage again.
What Will the Money Be Used For?
The list is actually quite long, but the majority of the renovation money will be spent on:
- Building permits
- ADA-compliant bathrooms
- A fire suppression system
- Emergency exits/egress
Everything which legally can be done without a licensed contractor is being done by Dojo volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer to help with that aspect, please email IWantToHelp@hackerdojo.com
After we are legally allowed to go into the buildings we will be making
- A dedicated event space to host classes and small conferences
- A design studio with resources for makers who want to make physical objects
How do we know you are qualified to do this?
Hacker Dojo already has the infrastructure in place to run over 8000 square feet of space for all variety of people who like to make things. We have been running for nearly three years, and our current revenue from memberships is more than enough to sustain all of the space once it is operational.
Yes, we have hired one already. If you are an architect and would like to be a sponsor/volunteer, please contact iWantToHelp@hackerdojo.com
We're designing a special shirt. You can read about it at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/384590180/an-events-space-and-a-design-studio-for-hacker-doj/posts/278802
Our friends DJ and Dan at Red Apple Production. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an introduction to them, they want to do more work with startups and technical projects of all varieties, particularly on Kickstarter!
Share this on facebook. We get more donors through facebook than anywhere else. A little note like "This community seems awesome, check it out!" or "This community means a lot to me" or "Sucks that the city is ruining their fun, hope these guys make it!" really are a lot more effective than just a link.
If you'd like to help promote the efforts, join the mailing list coordinating that https://groups.google.com/a/hackerdojo.com/forum/… is one of those funny places where a few upvotes at the right place at the right time make all the difference.
You can also check out our charity auction and volunteer something to be auctioned at
Just like our team already raised money from corporate sponsors, they are on track to raise approximately $100K more. The 30K here picks up the last bit of slack, though we certainly would love to exceed our goal and give those poor folks a break!
Our lease obligates us to pay rent for another two and a half years, the cost of which would exceed the price tag for the repairs.
We don't know of anything that's wrong with them, they're UL tested, they look just like the ones we use at home, and we bought them from Home Depot within the last 2 years. We're nerds, do you think we expose our expensive electronics to unsafe power?
Yes! Please add $5 to your pledge to cover the costs.