Save the Dojo

Guest blog by Katy Levinson

The Dojo is the home to countless startups in Silicon Valley during their seed and pre-funding eras. Companies like Pinterest used the space as an office in their early days.

The social atmosphere encourages founders and tinkerers of all sorts to rub shoulders with their peers in a way that is rarely afforded outside of college campuses. The Dojo’s 13,000 sq. feet of space, 100Mb fiber Internet connection, and everything that goes with it is funded by aficionados who part with $100/month in exchange for a key. This revenue model has kept the organization well in the black for over two years.

Traditionally, Hacker Dojo has worked with partners to facilitate any renovation projects. One example of partnership is the Microsoft support for a new heating and air conditioning system at the Dojo. We turned this into an educational opportunity for developers interested in Windows Phone, hosting a four week series at the Dojo. Feedback from this partnership is outstanding:

“Great atmosphere and energy!”

“It was great fun working with wonderful people for the last four weeks. Thanks Microsoft for sponsoring this event. It felt like going back to school again!”

“This series is much better than the 3-day iPhone $1k-$2k classes offered in San Francisco. Very good technical content.”

“Very powerful UI concept for the next wave of apps…. much better than a static icon. The industry hasn't figured this out yet. Best mobile lecture/class/format I have ever seen.”

Along with Microsoft – whose support of Startups is well illustrated through the BizSpark Program, other companies also stepped up: Palantir based in Palo Alto, get the chance to come hang out and court the Dojo’s members as potential hires, while Andreessen Horowitz – another generous benefactor and supporter – knows there’s good karma (and good press) associated with supporting our humble institution.

More Heroes Required

The Hacker Dojo and its members and staff wish to thank both the continued and new support it has received from its sponsors. We are so pleased that these three heroes of the Silicon Valley community joined our challenge to raise $250,000 to fund the improvements we are committed to making for the City of Mountain View requirements; meaning we can get bathrooms that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and much more.

The Dojo now seeks to find other companies excited about working with them to help make these necessary improvements and continue our goal to serve humble early-stage startups in Silicon Valley. Do you want to be part of this? Good karma awaits.

For information about the fundraising, please see

For information about becoming a sponsor, please see

For more information on Microsoft BizSpark please visit

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