Welcome to Live Work Oakland

Live Work Oakland is your go-to resource about the growing local innovation economy in Oakland, California.

Live Work Oakland is the home of the Oakland Tech Ecosystem map and database, offering a comprehensive list of tech-related entities in Oakland’s burgeoning and diverse tech community.

Live Work Oakland also features guides to getting started doing business in the Town, and profiles and articles about local innovators and leaders.

Live Work Oakland was created by Oakland Local with partnership support from The Kapor Center for Social Impact.

To add your business to our database, go here.
To sign up for our mailing list and to receive notifications of tech and investment events in Oakland, go here.

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    Building the sharing economy in the East Bay

    One minute, hard and fast, is not much time in which to explain an idea, especially if that idea is a proposal for an innovative new sharing economy model that is going to bridge the wealth gap. But if that’s how much time you’ve got, then you make it work.

    That is the very essence of hackathons: make it work. Take the best of those 60-second ideas, put them in an environment filled with experts and mentors, give them another hard, short deadline, and tell them to make it work.

    This past weekend, Rani Croager, co-founder of the cooperative social-enterprise incubator Uptima, hosted the Sharing Economy Challenge hackathon at Impact HUB Berkeley, which, as you may have already guessed, was focused on developing sharing economy models that tackle income inequality.

    “The sharing economy itself has an enormous potential to bridge that wealth gap,” she said, “if we start to think about how we design solutions that benefit our community.”

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    Integral MBA in Creative Enterprise coming to Oakland soon

    The founders of the Integral MBA in Creative Enterprise, launching at Impact HUB Oakland this October, share a vision of a future in which people use business to catalyze positive change and growth in their communities. They call it “business with a heart.”

    Integral MBA, an extension of Meridian University based in Petaluma, plans to enroll 20 people in its brand new, blended-learning MBA program in Oakland.

    “Oakland has that heartbeat, (a sense) that change is already happening here, with the food movement; people making change from a technological standpoint; we have Black Girls Code downstairs,” Nika Quirk, core faculty, said as she pointed to the main HUB space below. “It’s setting an example, it’s modeling something, when we bring ourselves together and ask ourselves, ‘What kind of city do we want to live in?’”

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    Women in technology connect at Oakland Women 2.0 meetup

    Back in May, the women-in-tech advocacy organization Women 2.0 started holding monthly meetups in Oakland, making our town the fifteenth city worldwide with a Women 2.0 presence. Despite these events being very new to Oakland, each one draws a room-filling crowd eager to soak up the words of the guest lecturer(s) and expand their own professional networks.

    July 10th’s meetup, held at Pandora’s Webster St. headquarters, was no exception. Two brilliant, accomplished women were featured as guest speakers: Farnaz Ronaghi, co-founder and Director of Engineering at NovoEd, and Angie Chang, an original co-founder of Women 2.0 who now serves as Director of Growth at Hackbright Academy.

    “You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Women 2.0 Global Programs Manager Jin Zhou in her introductory talk, quoting Marian Wright Edelman. Curating quality guest speakers to serve as role models is an important component of the organization’s effort to boost women’s presence in technology.

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    UPDATE – Local startup, TubeMogul, lowers price of its IPO Friday

    UPDATE – TubeMogul on Thursday morning filed an amendment to its stock offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission significantly lowering the offering price to $7 to $8 a share from its stated $11 to $13 a share offering as of Wednesday.

    In its amendment to its SEC Form S-1 filed July 17, TubeMogul states:

    “We expect the public offering price to be between $7.00 and $8.00 per share. Currently, no public market exists for the shares. We intend to list the common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “TUBE.” ”  

    Planning to sell 6.2 million shares, TubeMogul should bring in about $47 million.

    Neither the amendment nor company officials would say why the offering price was lowered, with officials citing the mandatory “quiet period” before an offering. The amendment states –  as did previous versions – that “We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012. “Investing in the common stock involves risks that are described in the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page 11 of this prospectus.”

    It cites the same “Risk Factors” as its previous S-1 documents — chiefly that they company has not yet made a profit and it cannot predict when or if it will make a profit in the future. 

    TubeMoguls’ revenues have been doubling year over year and it has developed a digital advertising platform that lets companies manage and measure digital video advertising, a market defined as growing nearly 300 percent a year as video advertising moves to the Internet and away from analog television.  

    Its workforce has grown five-fold in three years from 57 employees to 280 employees and the company cites that rapid grown as a risk factor, “if we fail to manage growth effectively.”

    Deeper in the prospectus it states that 95 to 99 percent of its revenues “came from advertising served to personal computer users” and that its future performance will be “dependent in part” upon the continued growth of digital video and its ability to grow revenues in mobile video and social video and TV video on demand.


    July 16 – An Emeryville startup, video ad company TubeMogul, is expected to go public on Friday, offering stock at a target price of $11 to $13 per share in hopes of raising $93 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The timing is estimated on IPO Scoop.

    That would make it one of the largest IPOs from an Oakland area company.

    Started by two UC Berkeley Haas Business School alums, Brett Wilson, CEO, and John Hughes, president of products, TubeMogul describe its business as a video ads platform.  “The products, tools and features within the platform make programmatic video planning, buying and measurement a reality for brands and agencies of any size,” says the company’s prospectus.

    It solves a problem in the video ad space by providing a way to see the impact of an ad more clearly.

    Wilson and Hughes founded TubeMogul in 2007 while still MBA students at Haas and funded its launch with winnings from a business plan contest held by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the school.

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    Tonight: Local finance in the new economy: 7 essential ideas

    The new economy may have startup muscles, a sustainable skeleton, web-based mobile brains and a socially responsible heart, but its blood is the same color as the old economy’s: green.

    Banking and finance are integral to the success of the new economy. Its collaborative consumption platforms, co-working spaces, worker cooperatives all still rely on loans and investments to succeed. And innovative, slow-money financial ideas haven’t always received the same attention as the enterprises they fund.

    But awareness is growing, and some organizations are actively working to promote this awareness.

    Tonight, Wednesday, Impact Hub Oakland is hosting “Local Investment Options For Everyone” an event about local investing that is part of its summer “Hacking the Economy” series. With an emphasis on the implications that banking locally has for small business loans, and discussions of the new organizations and opportunities in the field of local investing, these events are an important part of the movement to educate people about how their money can participate in the new economy. And it’s not just this Wednesday, there are more local investing and finance events coming up in July and August.

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    Oakland’s Sprinkle Lab establishes themselves as hybrid art and commercial video production company

    In the Queens D. Light music video for Love Pistol (below), the hip hop griot hunts nubile Adonises with a bow and arrow.She accepts worship from stone male statues in her chain link garden sanctuary and she spins urban legends with her hands.

    Like most of Sprinkle Lab’s confections, the video bears unexpected touches of quirk while maintaining emotional lucidity. It’s beautiful but never sappy. And much of it was shot in the back garden of the Sprinkle Lab studio in West Oakland.

    The video production company Sprinkle Lab was bootstrapped out of an attic in 2011. When the team took home an Emmy last year for a public service bit they produced for Washington’s transit system, the team remarked on their blog, “It looks like Sprinkle Lab, just two years old, is growing up fast.”

    Real fast. They’ve since produced commercial work for brands like IBM, Microsoft, LevisSubaru and other international brands while picking up momentum on their music video production. They are producing their first independent feature film this year. Cofounder and CEO Cameron Woodward points to David Fincher as an exemplar of this kind of commercial/artistic hybrid production work. “We’re balancing longevity and sustainability with the riskier, arty experiments,” says Woodward “but some of our most creative and beautiful work has been commercial.”

    sprinkleThe Sprinkle Lab studio lives on a particularly sunny and overgrown block on Ettie Street, and shares space with several artists and artisanal enterprises that have been around for decades. They offer me a drink, gesturing at coffee, water and what appears to be whiskey and invite me to the film screening they’re setting up for later that evening. “It’s a new series we’re starting, kind of a micro-cinema pop-up thing,” says Bradley Smith, Head of Production. “We want to give more exposure to some of the indie films that don’t make it past the festival circuit,” he explains, “and we also want to localize what we do, open up the space, we feel kind of cooped away in here.”

    Their dream is ultimately to open a street-facing donut shop at the front of the studio. So, in other words, they’re not your typical ad company.

    Creative director Brandon Tauszik got into video production when he was fourteen. “I was arrested for something stupid and ended up doing my community service at my parents’ mega-church [in Florida], doing video work for them.” He established his chops working on music videos before teaming up with Woodward–the business development and operations head–and taking Sprinkle Lab live.

    They are not the kind of artists that wrinkle their noses at the commercial work that has in part built the company’s success. “We can tell an interesting story and make a beautiful video about whatever it is that we need to,” says Woodward. “We’ve been really lucky to have clients that we believe in,” he explains, referring especially to the many startups in the Bay Area that he calls “other dreamers, just like us.” These local partnerships are the ones that excite them the most.

    Check out some of their music video work below. You might just be inspired to head to their next film screening where you’ll find yourself dreaming up a new video campaign for your project and the Sprinkle Lab boys will be there to do their sprinkly thing with you and you won’t even have to leave town to get it all done.


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