As I write this, the tech-focused Oakland Startup Network is meeting under a nice evening sky on the Kapor Center rooftop, on Broadway and Franklin, right now, for First Friday, July. As I’m helping my Mom here in Georgia, I left last week, and now I’m not in Oakland, right now.
If were, I’d be there. Frankly, I’d just happened on the Oakland Startup Network for the first time like, oh, 10 minutes ago on Twitter. Judging from the Twitter tweet by Kapor Center, it’s a packed house:
There's no place we'd rather be than on the #KaporCenter rooftop, kicking off our 1st #FridayFounders Fireside Chat, with @erinjerri getting the conversation going with an interactive discussion on art, the blockchain, investments, and AI/AR/VR! pic.twitter.com/PYX5e83Lwn
— Kapor Center (@KaporCenter) July 7, 2018
The eventbrite ticket page description of the event reads like this “Join us for an interactive discussion on the Kapor Center rooftop around the intersection of art and tech. Our July session will be moderated by Erin Pangilinan of O’Reilly Media and panelists: Kamal Hubbard, Clorama Dorvilias, and Megan Maloney. Our special guests bring a wealth of knowledge around art, the blockchain, investments, and AI/AR/VR.”
I have to make an observation about O’Reilly Media. In 2005, and after I started Oakland’s first blog Oakland Focus, I signed up to cover Tim O’Reilly’s (the founder of O’Reilly Media) tech gathering. Back then, and prior to the rise of my friend Michael Arrington, Tim was edcuating the public on Web 2.0. What really did piss me off, to be frank, that Tim rejected me personally, saying that I wasn’t “a media guy”. Obviously, Tim wasn’t feeling the idea of a black guy with a blog writing about his event – my feeling directly expressed to him at the time. He wanted me to pay the $2,000, knowing full well I couldn’t afford it, and pointing to my own then-new startup, Sports Business Simulations. It’s nice revenge that I wound up covering TechCrunch events, where Arrington was only too happy to have me. At times…
Now, the “fireside chat” format that Arrington created, is all over the place – including at Oakland Startup Network First Friday July. One word stood out to me about this event: blockchain. The other VR, or virtual reality.
Let’s check some of the tweets under #FridayFounders:
— Ashley Chambers (@writergurlAsh) July 7, 2018
— Kamal R. Hubbard (@kamalrhubbard) July 7, 2018
— OaklandStartup (@OaklandStartup) July 7, 2018
#FridayFounders I'm building a SaaS website for fine artists to train their own artificial intelligence agents to deploy in interactive (social and in person) installation- and performance-art pieces. Any chance of doing a traditional accelerator with something like this?
— K P 🔬🎞 (@resolvingdust) July 7, 2018
#fridayfounders where do you see the digitizing and democratization of leagues/team in VR/AR hybrid sport activities like Hado Worldcup in Japan going?
— Jomari Peterson (@Jomari_P) July 7, 2018
— Kapor Center (@KaporCenter) July 7, 2018
Looks interesting. Wish they would have pinged me – I’d have sent someone to cover it viog style.
Oh, my startup is called Zennie62Media.
And for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Zennie Abraham, and I started Oakland’s first blog, Oakland Focus, and Oakland’s first YouTube Partner Channel, Zennie62, which was created in 2006, and made partner in 2008.
In 2007, I was at Vloggercon, a cool convention for vloggers in San Francisco, and at a launch party at San Francisco nightclub Mighty for something called “Twitter. That same year, YouTube Founder Chad Hurley gave me one of the first unlimited length YouTube channels. In 2008, I was one of the first ever invited to cover the Democratic National Convention as a blogger.
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