After just 6-months of prototyping, Oakland Startup Network has grown into an ecosystem of over 1000 aspiring and current entrepreneurs. The Kapor Center is proud to be a founding partner of OSN. Together we’re working to make Oakland the home of tech done right.
Earlier this month, the Kapor Center hosted OSN’s first ever demo night, bringing together more than 100 local entrepreneurs to meet, network, and pitch their startups to Oakland tech leaders at our last 1st Friday event of 2017.
Promptly at 5:30pm, the doors open and Oakland founders pour into the double doors of the Kapor Center. Sounds from the SOCIAL CLUB, a Santa Cruz-based DJ collective, pump throughout the Lotus Auditorium as the vibe is set for a potent night of storytelling, insight and fun. After an hour of networking, the festivities are underway in Lotus as the theatre begins to fill to capacity.
It’s an exciting lineup. 5 of Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Jomarya Herrera, Andrew Hill, Xiaohoa Michelle Ching, Maria Salamanca, and Tenzin Seldon. These are the innovators, disruptors, and game changers of tomorrow.
Next, Silicon Valley Bank takes the stage leading the programming with tools and financial solutions for entrepreneurs, followed by steps from Startup @ Berkeley Law to discuss the early stage legal and operational components of starting a business.
By now the warm-ups from industry professionals are complete, and tech founders get ready to share their stories with our diverse community. Growth-stage companies, including Hingeto, CNote, LiftEd, and Literator demo their products and offer great inspiration for the iLab residents.
From the tech startups selected in September to be incubated and part of an 8-week bootcamp, 3 companies took the opportunity to share their prototypes with the audience. Each startup began with an idea, and just a few shorts weeks within our Innovation lab were able to scale and begin generating revenue. Our final 1st Friday of 2017 is a chance for each of these leaders of impact to shine and learnings from the community come full-circle.
Eugene Baah and Tope Alabi of Resoltz, Vicente Garcia of Woke, and Ryan Diew of Trippie each pitch and help showcase how OSN does entrepreneurship in Oakland and our iLab residents are making attempts to effectively solve challenges that impact the tech ecosystem.
The evening ends with plenty of audience fanfare. The room is buzzing with inspiration and celebration. The evening is a clear display of the impact that tech has made in Oakland, and, more importantly, how Oakland is going to shape tech. Our community is diverse and scrappy, and with a tech scene based on the lived experiences of our Oakland entrepreneurs, the Oakland Startup Network community is going to show tech how it’s done. They showed up and showed out.