On Sunday, my wife and I went down the street to American Steel Studios to see the final event for Mayor Schaaf’s inaugural week. The theme was a celebration of Oakland’s “maker spirit”, which was made all the more real by seeing fire-breathing metallic snails or a bunch of locally-based food trucks. One thing that was lacking, I noticed, were tech companies. There was a corner of one of the rooms devoted to tech, but as far as I can tell, none of the companies there were actually from here. I spoke with representatives from Code for America and Kiva Zip (both based in San Francisco). Both were also showing projects centered on Oakland (to be fair, OpenOakland is a Code for American brigade). There was Om Audio, but they’re based in Morgan Hill. This may be splitting hairs, but it was interesting to me considering there’s supposed to be a “burgeoning tech industry in Oakland” and the theme of the festival was “Made in Oakland”.
Again, probably splitting hairs.