Mega-List of Bay Area Startup Resources
Updated for 2017……Whether you’re still hatching your idea or you’re a seasoned veteran of the startup scene, here are 50+ Bay Area startup resources to help you launch and grow your dream business.
San Francisco Office and Coworking Spaces
If you’re not ready to sign a lease for your own location, you could head over to a San Francisco coworking space, where membership benefits include your own “hot desk” or small office, plus all sorts of networking events and classes. Here are some of San Francisco’s favorite coworking spots:
Founders Den An exclusive, invitation-only coworking club for startups and their founders.
NextSpace Coworking, infrastructure and community for freelance workers and entrepreneurial professionals. NextSpace has a great community vibe and lots of fun events and learning opportunities. New locations have appeared throughout California in 2012 and 2013.
Sandbox Suites Affordable, flexible, on-demand shared office and meeting space for independent professionals and small companies. These guys are expanding fast, with multiple locations in SF and Berkeley.
PariSoma “A collaborative loftspace for coworking and events in the SoMa district of San Francisco.” Perks include wifi, coffee, workstations, and a conference room, as well as awesome education events geared especially for startups.”
Eco-System A large space with natural light and a modern aesthetic. Oriented toward sustainability and creativity. Onsite partnerships with Temple Nightclub and Mirus Art Gallery.
Rocket Space “A new, all-inclusive shared office space designed solely for new media and tech startups from 1 to 30 people.” Drop by for one of their weekly happy hours. Note that you must be a post-incubator startup to qualify for office space here.
DG717 “Coworking for entrepreneurs from Japan and around the world.”
Shared A coworking/maker space for creatives.
Bespoke Located in Westfield Mall, Bespoke offers access to a variety of spaces, including many meeting rooms, a flexible event space and a demo space.
The Vault An on-trend collaborative coworking space with a funky interior. Located in the Financial District, downtown SF.
Impact Hub A true community-oriented space, focused on fostering growth and connections for socially-conscious businesses. As of April, 2017 they are temporarily in a pop-up space until May, 2017. Join and get access to a large network of coworking spaces around the world.
42Floors An amazing resource for finding office or coworking space in San Francisco. We especially like their map interface that enables you to identify your dream space by neighborhood.
T3 Advisors Informed advice, resources, and brokering for your startup or corporate real estate needs.
Learning and Networking
Lots of local opportunities to mix, network, discuss, and learn alongside other techies and founders.
The Churchill Club Networking, conversations and events for Bay Area visionaries and leaders.
Noisebridge ‘A physical space open and welcoming to all, providing infrastructure and collaboration opportunities for anyone interested in programming, hardware, crafts, science, food, robotics, art, and technology. We teach, we learn, we share. With no leaders, we have one rule: “Be excellent to each other.”’ Events on the calendar include Care and Feeding of Your Makerbot, Vegan Hacker Pet Treats, PyClass, and Hack Politics.
Startup2Startup “A group of Silicon Valley geeks, entrepreneurs, and investors dedicated to educating and helping the next generation of internet startups.” The group meets monthly over dinner.
Tech Central SF Promoting community, networking and business development for the SF tech ecosystem. Check out their list of Top Upcoming Bay Area Tech Events.
TEDxSoMa A local, informal event modeled on the legendary TED series. This one is for the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco. The orientation is skewed heavily toward technology and startups. Local venues TEDxSanJose and TEDxBerkeley also have lively communities.
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center A resource center, located in downtown SF, for aspiring and current entrepreneurs.
Local Tech Meetups
If you’re looking for even more chances to build your knowledge-base while networking with other community members, check out some of these Bay Area Meetups:
Hackers and Founders Considered the largest Bay Area community of techies focused on founding startups. Join up to participate in networking events and lunch meetings with like-minded peers.
SF New Tech Meetup A monthly networking mixer for Bay Area tech geeks. According to one fan, “SF New Tech is the best place in San Francisco to launch, meet or recruit for young tech companies.”
The San Francisco Ruby Meetup Group Monthly meetups for people who want to learn about Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
SF Entrepreneur Meetup “San Francisco’s largest meetup, attracting entrepreneurs, investors, media rock stars, graphic and game designers, computer programmers and developers, and cool people from all walks of life. For more info, visit www.sfentrepreneur.com
Lean Startup Circle “Build a successful startup by learning from the experience of other lean startups.”
The SF PHP Meetup Group “An open forum where PHP developers of all skill levels can come to communicate, learn network, or just have a good time.”
Conferences + Startup Events
Here are some of the best-known Bay Area tech conferences, and a few that are a little farther afield.
DEF Con “One of the oldest continuous running hacker conventions around, and also one of the largest.”
Failcon “A one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success.”
The Future of Money and Technology “The Future of Money & Technology Summit brings together the best and brightest thinkers around money, including visionaries, entrepreneurial business people, developers, (and more).”
Pitch San Francisco “An expo event where end-users can meet founders of the latest web and mobile startups, get hands-on demos, and make connections with other like-minded entrepreneurs in the tech and startup community.”
SF MusicTech Summit This popular annual event gathers techies, creatives and other movers and shakers from the intersecting worlds of music and technology.
SXSW If you’ve never heard of SXSW then you’re in for a treat. Check out the First Timer’s Guide to SXSW and learn more about this huge conference/networking event/party that takes place in Austin, Texas every year.
TechCrunch Disrupt New startups compete for the chance to win $50,000 and launch their new company onstage, in front of heavy hitters from the tech industry. There’s also a Hackathon, for those who want to get their hands dirty.
Unleashed Conferences, events and community for Founders and CEOS of the world’s most innovative and fast-growing companies.
MEGA Startup Weekend Developers, techies, and business types meet and develop and innovative web or mobile-based startup over the course of one weekend.
HustleCon A conference focused on non-technical startupers.
Pitch Events and Social Mixers
Founder Fridays Produced by Women 2.0, Founder Fridays create a fun, social setting for entrepreneurs, founders, and startup contributors to network over drinks. This event is women-focused, but men are welcome to attend.
PitchCrawl This event was modeled on the successes of the popular food event called Dishcrawl. Pitchcrawl helps facilitate serendipity between founders and investors by bringing them together over delicious food at various startup spaces in San Francisco and San Jose.
Online Mailing Lists
Here are just a few of the many lists of startup news and events that can be delivered straight to your inbox on a regular basis.
Web Wallflower Events A bi-weekly mailing list to over 5,000 local founders, developers, and investors promoting upcoming start-up related events in the Bay Area.
Silicon Valley Startup Digest A huge, comprehensive list of news and events in the startup community. Digests are available for other cities as well.
Vator News Comprehensive news coverage and bulletins on what’s happening in the emerging tech community.
Women-Oriented Groups and Resources
While we’ve come a long ways, women are still under-represented in the startup/founder community. Here are a few great resources for female developers and startup entrepreneurs.
Women 2.0 A global network and social platform created to inform, inspire and educate a new generation of successful female entrepreneurs.
devChix “An international group of female programmers working to make the tech community a better place for everyone.”
Girls in Tech “A social network enterprise focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, and influential women in technology.”
LinuxChix “A community for women who like Linux and Free Software, and men who want to support women in computing.”
She’s Geeky This organization hosts unconferences across the US, to facilitate learning, networking and discussions for women working in “technology and other geeky fields.”
Railsbridge Promoting the idea that anyone can program while improving accessibility to learning resources, mentors and workshops for people from every background and level of experience. Check out their free workshops for learning Ruby on Rails!
Launch, Baby, Launch
Additional resources to make that startup happen.
Startup Weekend Network, collaborate, and build your own startup in one weekend! Startups weekends take place throughout the globe, every month of the year. Check the listings for the next Startup Weekend near you.
The Founder Institute Build your dream company with networking and training through the Founder Institute. This program aims to globalize the successes of Silicon Valley, by launching 1,000 companies in 30 cities each year.
Vator.tv An online media hub where entrepreneurs can connect and learn from one another. Orientation is toward the high tech startup community.
Founders Network Tech founders dedicated to helping other founders succeed. Apply through the Founders Network website.
San Jose Entrepreneur Center “A one-stop location for entrepreneurs and small businesses who would like to start a new business or grow an established business.” Services include free/low-cost business consulting services, financial assistance, training, international trade and immigrant business assistance.
Startup America “The White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.” Check out the Startup America Partnership, for lots of free goodies (software and services) for US-based entrepreneurs.
Startup Funders and Accelerators
500 Startups “A new kind of seed fund and startup accelerator. We believe successful internet startups are born from usable design, customer-focused metrics, and online distribution.”
The Band of Angels Silicon Valley’s oldest seed funding organization, consisting of more than 120 current and former high tech executives. The group meets monthly to formally consider three pre-selected startups for funding and support.
The Foundry Group While not in the Bay Area, The Foundry group is a well-known venture capital firm the invests in early-stage IT, internet and software startups. Their huge portfolio includes Zynga, Standing Cloud and Makerbot Industries.
Highland Capital Partners Currently investing in seed, early and growth stage companies in the communications, consumer, digital media, healthcare and IT technology markets. One way to get involved is through the Summer@Highland program (for selected university-affiliated startup founders and teams), which includes complimentary office space, mentorship, and $15,000 in seed funding.
Keiretsu Forum “The world’s largest angel investor network with 850 accredited investor members throughout twenty-one chapters on three continents.”
MassChallenge Enter to qualify for $40-$100K in seed funding, free office space, and participation in their startup accelerator and related events from June 27-September 27. MassChallenge does not require an equity stake and is open to companies in any industry. Based in Massachusetts.
Plug and Play Tech Center This center provides access to funding via venture capitalists, facilities for startup office space, corporate relationships, mentorship/advisory services, and networking events.
Sequoia Capital The grand-daddy of the VC industry, Sequoia Captial provides start-up venture capital funding for seed stage, early stage and growth companies.
TechStars Seed funding and intense mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. TechStars awardees also get outstanding perks from TechStars partners such as Rackspace Hosting, Amazon Web Services, and Heroku. TechStars requires an equity stake in funded startups.
Y Combinator Small funding awards for unique startups with great ideas. Funding from Y Combinator requires a move to Silicon Valley for 3 months of mentorship and training. Y Combinator requires an equity stake in funded startups.
Compete for cash to help make your brilliant idea a reality.
Bases 150K Challenge Compete to win up to $150K in prize money by submitting your business or social entrepreneurship idea to the annual BASES competition. One or more of your team must be a current or former member of the Stanford University community.
bplan at UC Berkeley The Cal business plan competition is open to current part-time and full-time students
SXSW Accelerator Not exactly a local competition, but one with heavy participation by the Bay Area startup community.
vatorsplash This annual event is attempting to democratize access to the Silicon Valley elite. The top-10 companies (based on online voting) get to give a 3-minute presentation before a panel of venture capitalists/judges. Takes place at Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco.
General Startup Resources
Startup Compass A free benchmarking tool that enables internet startups to measure their progress against over 10,000 other startups.
Hot San Francisco Startups
Our list of some of the Bay Area’s hottest startups. Updated in April, 2017. A work in progress, with more to come. In no particular order.
Docker Open source development platform.
Slack Work collaboration solution.
Lyft Ridesharing for all.
Uber The other ridesharing app.
Instacart Super-fast grocery delivery.
Shyp Shipping–including pickup, packaging, and processing.
Patreon Old-school patronage for artists and creatives, with a modern edge.
No doubt, we’ve left some important resources off this list. If you see a glaring omission, send us an email or drop us a tweet @LimeTech, and we’ll add it to this page.
Flickr Photo Credit: stevendepolo
LimeTech Solutions provides IT consulting services and technical support to startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. You can get in touch anytime for a free consultation with a LimeTech IT expert.