Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 25, 2012.

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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:

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

This is the room we plan to make into an events space! It is about 3000 square feet.
This is the room we plan to make into an events space! It is about 3000 square feet.

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!

This space will eventually be the design lab! Currently it is home to our nearly finished TARDIS and some of the communal tools we don't yet have room for.
This space will eventually be the design lab! Currently it is home to our nearly finished TARDIS and some of the communal tools we don't yet have room for.

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 Shirts

The incredibly talented Melody Lu has made this beautiful shirt which is exclusive to kickstarter backers. Here's a rough mockup of the design.

A mockup of the shirt! If you want more information about it, we dedicated a whole backer update to this!
A mockup of the shirt! If you want more information about it, we dedicated a whole backer update to this!

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.

Melody Lu's Mural Mockup
Melody Lu's Mural Mockup

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.

The Plaque

The plaque of contributors will be modeled after the plaque of the founding members, and hang alongside it.
The plaque of contributors will be modeled after the plaque of the founding members, and hang alongside it.

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.

Power Strips

While mere mortals might think these are normal power strips from a hardware store, the fire marshall has assured us they are not acceptable, giving you a chance to own some of Dojo history!
While mere mortals might think these are normal power strips from a hardware store, the fire marshall has assured us they are not acceptable, giving you a chance to own some of Dojo history!

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

This original Super Pong Machine will be signed by Al Alcorn as a prize for a donor!
This original Super Pong Machine will be signed by Al Alcorn as a prize for a donor!

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.

FAQ

762
Backers
$53,655
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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    58 backers

    Our eternal appreciation!

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  • Pledge $8 or more
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    53 backers

    A Dojo bumper sticker! Show your Dojo pride on your car, laptop, bike or wherever else!

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  • Pledge $16 or more
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    126 backers

    A Hacker Dojo mug or shotglass! Select a conveyance for your hacking fuel of choice and support a great cause! Please add $10 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $32 or more
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    257 backers

    A Hacker Dojo shirt! Support a great cause while reducing your chances of public indecency. Shirts are American Apparel and come in both men's and women's sizes. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $32 or more
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    70 backers All gone!

    Trippy LED kit! Mitch Altman, a leader of the hackerspace movement, has donated Trippy 100 LED kits to help Hacker Dojo raise money for getting up to code. These kits are perfect for teaching the little hacker in your life how to solder, or for simply amusing yourself by making some awesome. If you are local, you can even meet Mitch and come and solder together at the Dojo in a class!

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    11 backers Limited (113 left of 124)

    While it may not be the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, Rajesh Setty's new book Upbeat is meant to teach us a little about tough times and how to get through them. Rajesh writes extensively, and much of his work is targeted toward new entrepreneurs, which is just line with the spirit of the Dojo! In support of our fundraiser he has offered to sign and donate copies of his book as a pledge reward. If you're local, you can meet him and shake his hand when he signs your book!

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    30 backers All gone!

    Can't decide between a trippy LED kit, a bumper sticker or an awesome ninja shirt? Have all three!

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    55 backers

    Hacker Party Pass! When we finally do raise this money we will throw a giant party and you're invited.

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  • Pledge $128 or more
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    8 backers

    Dinosaur wall scroll! Are you lonely at the thought of only being able to see the dinosaur mural at the Dojo? Now you can bring them home with you! The same image will be printed on a wall scroll (16" on the smaller dimension) so you can adorn a wall of your choice with awesome.

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    5 backers All gone!

    In our dinosaur mural there will be famous programming books on the table. Is one the dragon compiler book? Kernighan and Ritchie's C? You decide!

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    3 backers

    Photo mural! Send us a photograph of yourself, and for one month we're going to make a mural of all donors at this level on the wall. You'll get an awesome digital picture of it when we're done!

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  • Pledge $256 or more
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    19 backers

    Box of hacker stuff! Be in the mural, and get a mug a T-shirt, a shotglass, stickers, and tons of love. We're also going to put mystery items in the box that the fire marshall doesn't like. Who needs power strips? They let you share outlets with your friends, and commemorate a long history of the fire marshalls being distressed at our behavior. Each one will have a Dojo sticker and we're printing a large red stamp that reads "rejected" to stamp each one with.

    Estimated delivery:
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Choose the dinosaurs! Melody's mural will feature two dinosaurs. Do you have a favorite dinosaur? It could be on the wall of the Dojo forever.

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    3 backers All gone!

    A credit to be a student in one of MIke Bowles' series of classes taught at the Hacker Dojo. These are some of the best classes at the Dojo, and one of the only paid series of classes. Credit will be good for two years. Classes are normally based on the Open-Sourced Stanford Graduate Machine Learning Curriculum, but occasionally has other offerings.

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    6 backers

    Your name or the name of a loved one will be immortalized on a plaque on the wall of the Dojo next to the founding members.

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    0 backers

    Pick a volunteer from Dojo directors and core staff, and (schedule permitting) that individual will speak at an event of your choice. Please help the volunteered individual get to and from your event so we don't bankrupt him/her.

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  • Pledge $1,337 or more
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    2 backers

    Super box of win! Be in the photo mural, get the giant box of win, be on the plaque of donors, get a wall scroll, get a signed copy of Upbeat, know that you're elite, and support a great cause.

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  • Pledge $1,972 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    An original Super Pong Machine, signed by Al Alcorn, the original designer of Pong, the first video game in history! If you are local, you can even meet Al Alcorn and shake his hand.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    2 backers

    A credit for five years of membership at Hacker Dojo, your name on the plaque of sponsors, and a ninja T-Shirt.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Decide what cell phone the dapper T-Rex is holding

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Decide what laptop the working dinosaur is using

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Funding period

- (44 days)