New space meeting 2017 12 09

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Riseup pad:


Our lease will be up at the end of August, 2018. Month or two extension possible, but doesn't present much time.

Other orgs have expressed desire to find a new place with NB.


  • Mitch Altman - One of NB's cofounders, very excited to find a new space and the possibilities that presents.
  • Dan: curious about the process, and what space is needed
  • Scotty: A member, spends most of his time traveling. Very motivated, sees this as an opportunity not a risk to get even more awesome space for NB, and to secure our long-term future. Some challenges ahead of us.
  • Drew: Noisebridge is the government of the future. He is here by accident. Working on other stuff
  • Trent: Likes the idea of having a new space, too.
  • Dawn: Wants to help
  • J: Loves teaching, loves what NB has done for people regardless of background. Excited of possibilities for new space and what we can do with it.
  • Marie: got here 48 hours ago from Berlin. Happy to be hrere
  • Jarrod: works on the space. Would like to keep this space, but another would be okay.
  • Ryan: Loves hanging out and helping out at NB, hoping his family's historic real estate love might help here.
  • Jeremy: he's new and loves this place and wants to see it go on.
  • Kevin: been coming for about a year, loves this place, learned so much, let's see it survive and propser.


  • people have been going out and seeing spaces. People can share details about that (Mitch)
  • Discussion about what big donors we could try to contact (Ryan)
  • Ideas, brainstorm about raising money, how do we get a mortgage (J)
  • All roads seem to lead from fundraising to lots of possibilities (Trent).
  • Has there been a convo about types of spaces to look into? The Port Authority might have space for NPOs (Jeremy).
  • Like to ahve a conversation around increasing its income on an ongoing basis (Scotty) - paid classes, renting out for private workshops, which is part of going in on a space iwth other organizations. Getting
  • Find out who in City government knows how to make NB recognized as a public utility or institution that the City gives us a building. Support from the City (Ryan)


  • I've scheduled an appointment to visit *465 Tehama St. on 2017-12-13 (next Wednesday) at 14:00*; with Mark Brown. If anyone wants to join, please come. (Jarrod). $3.8 Million purch, two stories, 7,000 SF. Mixed use zoning.

  • Internet Archives have been getting massive donations for books, CDs, records and are looking for more space, possibly buying bunkers over in East Bay. But looking for another SF City location, and might be interested in helping out Noisebridge. They might have support from country-level governments. (Ryan)

Places we've seen[edit],-122.41105,15z&l=3-19282

  • 20 Heron: cool space, $2/SF, wants soon occupancy. Just became available. Broker says owner doesn't want to do buildout, so if we took as-is the price might be reduced. Minimum space to rent would be 22,000 SF. Good coalition space, good location, artsy neighborhood, covered bridge connecting buildings, possible signage. Large elevator, one ADA-compliant bathroom, gay porn distributor in ground floor (wants to stay). Roof with patio-able area. Very much a Noisebridge type space, but large and challenging. Possibly not enough bathrooms, would need to be built, especially if we take on subtenants. Subtenants means building out office spaces. Broker thinks owner might like Noisebridge. (Scotty)
  • Sansome Street Advisors have 50+ buildings for lease and purchase. They co-invest in the places they sell, if they find a good reason to - NPOs which might get them tax brakes, e.g. We should talk with them. (Ryan)
   Sansome Street advisors
   220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1850
   San Francisco, CA 94104

What size can we get, what can we afford?[edit]

  • What's our current financial ability? (Jeremy) It is around $10k per month (J)
    1. Other Info, NPOs with similar needs, Orgs that can help
  • Mitch has been talking with Dina Beard, exec dir of The Lab (tenant @ Redstone Bldg at Capp St & 16th St). The Redstone Bldg has been a non-profit building since the '30s ("Labor Temple"), currently owned by an absentee landlord, which might be the saving grace. He keeps holding out for more money on offers. Current offer $21 mil, he wants $25 mil. The place hosts many NPOs. But if they get evicted, if the bldg sells, they'll all be looking for a place. If the landlord continues rejecting offers they'll still ahve aplace to stay.
  • The City is building a property on Bryant near 16th for displaced NPOs. NPOs can buy/build a space in that building, then they're good in perpetuity. Dina & The Lab are looking to this building as a possible permanent home. The City has a fund for loaing to NPOs so that they can afford to buy a building.
  • The San Francisco Community Land Trust works with NPOs and cooperative housing groups to buy properties. The Trust purchases the property and gives you a 99-year lease, effectively in perpetuity because the lease renewal is automagic. Praveen Suha lives in one of the buildings the Trust purchased. LOL (Liberating Ourselves Locally) purchased a building in Oakland with the Trust's help.
  • Ryan suggests looking for a financial advisor, somebody or an org that can assist Noisebridge with our search for a permanent home.
  • The Foundation Center has resources for NPOs, and they might have advice for NB about properties to acquire / rent. They have info about professional fundraisers. They have info on other NPOs that we might collaborate with. They have workshops to assist / educate NPOs. On Sutter Street in downtown. Foundation Center is U.S.-wide, exists to bring together funders and NPOs. Offices only in SF and NYC. They have huge databases which we can use for free.
  • Truss Offices, where the Pink Flamingo was built, is a possible space. (Jeremy)
  • Mitch is looking into the builders of The Monument before he leaves town.


  • (J) @nthmost mentioned last meeting that we need a story to tell if we are going to do fundraising at such a large level. I started thinking about what Noisebridge has been doing, specially when other organizations ask for our advice or help. I think something like this should be a good starting point:
  • Noisebridge is a place that provides a physical space and customized guidance, to improve education, develop greater creativity, and stimulate true innovation. We do this by facilitating classes, individual and group orientation, a location with several specialized tools, and people with a high level of experience and training in a diverse set of skill sets. We give guidance and assistance to schools, libraries, profit and nonprofit organizations, and anyone that is able to benefit from our services regardless of color, age, sexual orientation, or economic background. We believe that a way to truly improve our community is to empower them enhancing their education through exploration and collaboration.
  • This is to help convince funders to give us money.
  • Do we need a "pitch deck"? (Ryan) A pitch deck might be fun, for noisebridge, per Mitch.
  • If we find a mixed-use space, we get a space for parties, which helps with fundraising. We might also be able to have apartments. When people come visit we can rent the rooms. Hacker-in-residence program. Drew poured water on this - having humans as tenants is very much a complicated legal matter. SROs limit stays to three weeks, for example, to evade tenancy issues.

Business Model, Funding, Fundraising[edit]

  • (Mitch) Hackerspaces around the world have coworking spaces, to help make money. Desk, room rentals.
  • Classes, workshops, for a fee. Noisebridge is one of the few spaces that does not charge for classes, because we want to make it easy for everyone to attend.
  • Suggested donation, sliding scale, pay more to provide scholarships.
  • Some folks can afford to pay more, leverage that.
  • Experiment: running paid classes, soon, now. We'd provide access to everybody via scholarship, for those who send in an email explaining their need case.
  • Data science and web programming are popular topics, let's take advantage (Dawn)
  • Help a person with their project - paid technical advisors (Ryan) People who don't have time to learn everything themselves, that would be willing to pay.
  • Noisebridge has always been a place where classes are free. It's easy to stay in that habit, but consider why we're opposed to things in life, like always having free classes. What would that mean? Maybe we should try it out and see how it goes. (Steve)
  • We don't have to pay instructors (Scotty), we should consider that.
  • Precedent: $20 suggested donation for Laser Cutter class. (Jarrod) Not required, but many people contribute (Trent)
  • Formalize class donations by selling tickets (Scotty)
  • If we want to move ahead with making Noisebridge sustainable, while keeping classes accessible to all income levels, try this: Noisebridge Community Credit Program. People can donate for classes, but people can earn credits by doing things around the space. Cleaning, teaching classes, etc. A local currency, Noisecoin. (J)
  • Mitch has been in orgs where local currency was used but didn't work out.
  • Some people lvoe the space and take efforts to care for the space, regardless of the money (J). Jarrod is wary of putting monetary value on what heretofore has been donated labor.
  • To be welcome here, to both benefit from and contribute to Noisebridge, not just money works, doing physical things also works. (Mitch)
  • Can we simplify recurring donations? Can we make an internal version for non-members, non-philanthropists? (Ryan) Yes, it's already in place (Drew). This would be a good thing to hand out to people.
  • Amazon Smile program for Noisebridge exists. Mitch is wary of having the Amazon logo on the website.
  • ICO: Noisecoin. Many people have had this idea. Victoria when she worked for Ripple created a Noisecoin, years ago. No regulations, currently, so it should be easy. People can donate as much as they want! (Mitch) Needs a huge PR event (Scotty) Tell our story, big PR move, a YouTube outreach (J)
  • Patreon: Ryan wants to host one of the classes he's been planning. There's equipment and expenses involved. A class like "laser cut coasters" for example. Getting a donation system for this. A live-streamed class people could host. People who can't come to NB space could still donate, watch online, and get a product of the class (coasters etc). Would get their name mentioned during the video. So instead of Patreon getting the money, Noisebridge would get it all.
  • Noisebridge's YT channel is not currently monetized. Prob. because we don't get enough views.
  • How about running a trial paid class, with a base cost, 100% of the money goes to Noisebridge. (Scotty) How is this different from other classes NB runs? (Jeremy) There would be more to it than existing classes. (Scotty) Manish has offered to do more in-depth laser cutter class, for NB pay. Jarrod has an uneasy feeling about this.
  • J: When we do a class like this, there needs to be a certain value gotten by attendees, a take-home thing for example. A sign that lights up!
  • Jarrod: this reminds him of the Crucible. They teach welding, fabrication, in West Oakland. They're non-profit but have pricey classes. The Cruicible doesn't have much way to use their facility outside of classes. Noisebridge potentially has broader subject matter (Scotty)
  • There's a line at which Noisebridge loses it's soul (Jeremy), but we need to experiment (Kevin) in order to find out what brings in more money, but lets NB keep its integrity and ethics in supporting the community.
  • If people want an expedited learning experience they can pay more (Ryan). You can continue to learn free-of-charge, but on your own time, or at free classes. Expedited == money. Time vs money.
  • Noisebridge needs to evolve, so we can move on to the next step. We're hackers, we look at things, poke at them, solve problems. We should be confident that our current community is strong enough to say that if something doesn't feel right, we can say "no."
  • Noisebridge is good for self-starters. But people who aren't, who like a something-for-something deal (a class for $) might not recognize or feel comfortable being here. We should consider presenting a more recognizable surface for those people, and the proposed experiments offer that (Kevin)
  • Having a way to keep equipment repaired and functional would make NB more attractive (Kevin)
  • Mitch has seen paid coworking areas at hackerspaces around the world. It's a problem, though, when those spaces are not separate. If they're shared with the non-paying public it's a problem for the paying people. So, separate coworking spaces is a thing to consider for the future. Hacking cubicle rental.
  • What about the people who have used Noisebridge for coworking in the past, what benefit have they provided? Money or maintenance.
  • For example Kyle, who started a successful company.
  • Uncomfortable with the word "Cowork" at Noisebridge (Scotty) But having a space with a door to rent for the Kyles. There's potentially awesome synergy, so long as we get people we're comfortable with, who bring good positive energy. People who fit well within Noisebridge. Scotty would be willing to rent space like that. We might've kept Type A Machines if that sort of deal was available.
  • Mitch: with a bigger space this would be possible. When he said coworking that's what he meant. Need to come up with a new term, due to baggage around "cowork."
  • Ryan: lockers. Can they be for pay? He'd happily pay $40 to be able to store his tools here, rather than transport them or not have access. Different than a tool donation.
  • Let's start building an endowment (Kevin). We will need much money.
  • Jarrod: proposes to label for-pay classes "Fundraising classes." Kevin thinks that's confusing, that we need a label with the same meaning. It's a solid idea, to make clear that a class is for pay, benefits the community, funds NB.
  • Jeremy: with a big enough space, what's the downside to cordoning it off for coworking, physically adjacent but separate? Not mixing with Noisebridgers.
  • Dawn: how would that affect NB's 501(c)3 status? Consensus is it's manageable.
  • Mitch: might need a paid position for managing the building.
  • Jarrod: the heart of our community is that we share tools and space. Those tools exist for people that make profit, as well as those learning for free. It's important that special tools remain accessible to all, and not be held under lock and key.
  • Ryan: there's a chance one of the groups we're working with will take on the coworking portion of the space, and would help pay for the building.
  • Kevin: the idea of Noisebridge as Master Tenant, subletting space to coworkers and NPOs, was to make our rent more manageable.
  • Jay: those subtenants would be separate entities with their own doors. It's an exciting possibility. What "flavor" is Noisebridge going to give to rental spaces, to the donation-required classes? How would we be different from other orgs offering similar?
  • Mitch: we don't have the wherwithal to manage a building by ourselves, we might want to hire a building manager, who would be under our direction.
  • J: working with a fundraiser and other advisors from Foundation Center might get us this knowledge and enable us to continue hacking, what we do best.
  • Mitch: Frameline collectively bought a building on 9th Street. How do they manage the building?
  • Project Arto (Kevin) might be worth looking in to.
  • Scott: what about Noisebridge's logo, how can we monetize that? Cafe Press mugs and T-shirts, for example. Easy to set up, hands-off, easy money.
  • Mitch, Lizzie: is our logo free from IP encumberances? Appears to be.
  • Trent: we could do the licensing thing, setting a price.
  • Mitch: Dreamworks wanted permission to use NB's logo. Story on Boingboing about this. They used it, we washed our hands of it. Fair use (Jarrod). We refused to sign their rights waiver (Scotty). This was in Jan 2013. Unicorn rainbow-peeing on Dreamworks logo. They wanted it to be "real as possible."
  • Jarrod: how can we get a million people to donate a dollar apiece? There was an indiegogo campaign for the reboot (Mitch). What about all the geeks out there who would appreciate our story? (Kevin/Jeremy)
  • Kevin: we need to leverage the drama of our situation, that we're about to become victims of the success of the startup culture in SF because we're being priced out of the market. We've benefitted the tech community tremendously. We need them to see us as a victims that need help. That can compel donations.
  • Mitch: we're victims of the alt-right, that we're listed as a "liberal DIY space."
  • Trent: on the same thread we were regarded as "alright," maybe because we're seen as libertarian / anarcho-capitalist or something. But continue the drumbeat of we're being priced out.
  • Gamenest's rent went up (Ryan), they want to reemerge. They're another group pushed out due to gentrification and rents increasing. We can contact as many of these as possible - "How are you guys dealing in the bay area?" Can we get stories out there to get us coverage, start a local cause.
  • J: John Shutt would be good for writing something like this.
  • Dawn: We should get a fundraising website set up before sending out the story.
  • Trent: is on the Noisebridge github account:
  • Mitch: Hilary Ronin is coming to NB on January 25th. She's our City supervisor. We should prepare a horse and pony show for her to tell Noisebridge's story. She led the Presidio Terrace tax sale rescindment at Board of Supes.
  • Ryan: we want SOMA, downtown etc landlords fighting over us. Supervisors can help with this.
  • Kevin: how can we tell our story so that people absolutely want us in their building, their neighborhood?
  • Become our own country. The Principality of Noisebridge, e.g. There is an atoll in the Pacific to which a friend of Mitch's holds the deed. We just need to get a number of countries to recognize us as a country.

To Do[edit]

  • Vending machines: get some real vending machines (J). Existing machines require much hacking to get working with credit card or online pay. Modern vending machines rent $124/mo, 48-month commitment. Mitch: what about buying machines?
  • DIY vending machines is a thing.
  • Things to vend: Arduinos, RPis, Club Mate, soda, beer, snacks, hacking tools.
  • Call out Noisebridge's Amazon Smile program on the homepage and our donation page
  • Call out the recurring donation feature for anybody to use.
  • Next meeting: Dec 16th, Saturday 6:00PM
  • (Ryan)- Make Pitch deck for noisebridge.
  • think up a good name for a noisebridge flavor co-working type space
  • think up name for "fundrasing" classes (paid classes ment to help fundraise for noisebridge)
  • Need to call a regular fundraising meeting


  • Little-C consensus on experimenting with paid classes
  • Need a separate fundraising meeting, it needs as much attention as getting a space

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