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Summary:

Investors in Silicon Valley jumped in at at the last minute to keep Hacker Dojo, a co-working and hangout space in Mountain View, open for business after the city told the group’s organizers that they would need to comply with basic regulations to stay open.

Hacker Dojo Mountain View headquarters
photo: Photo courtesy Hacker Dojo

This summer, when Mountain View announced that the popular co-working space Hacker Dojo would have to make expensive renovations to meet building regulations, it looked like the city would lose a staple in the hacker community. Hacker Dojo turned to Kickstarter to raise the necessary funding, and with only a few days left, the project looked like it would go unfunded.

But in perhaps a testament to the love of hacker culture in the Valley, investors and companies stepped up. Steve Wokniak donated $666.66, the price of the first Apple computer, Hacker Dojo noted on its Kickstarter page. Other funding came from Andreessen Horowitz, Microsoft, Google and AT&T. YouWeb‘s Peter Relan donated the last $57,000 needed to keep Hacker Dojo running. Kickstarter campaigns don’t publish the names of the people who contribute to them, but Relan on Wednesday announced his decision to provide the last amount of funding before the Aug. 24 deadline closed.

Hacker Dojo provides a wide range of services to startup entrepreneurs, including co-working space, event space, and hangout space. Members can pay dues for anytime access to the building, but anyone is welcome to drop by. The space played host to the launch of Pinterest, as well as startups like Pebble Watch. But because the space didn’t meet city regulations for offices, Mountain View required the group to add things like a fire suppression system, emergency exits and ADA-compliant bathrooms.

The group estimated that the required renovations would cost $250,000. Mountain View officials told The New York Times that they didn’t want to evict the group, but Hacker Dojo had opened without a permit and is prohibited from holding large events.

Relan said he hadn’t ever been to the Hacker Dojo space before, but when he heard about the group’s problem, he felt he had to help. “I am a programmer,” he said. “I’ve never seen it, I just did it out of complete faith that it was an important thing.”

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  1. Hi. We want one!

    Your Pal,

    Los Angeles

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