I go to three AI events per week, here’s what I’ve learned.
I’m frequently asked, “Where are the AI hotspots” in the bay area? Yeah, there’s often 80+ AI events per month in SF, and I also lead my own event series. I’ve been in the Bay Area for 27 years and have experienced five tech cycles, and haven’t seen a boom like this since 1999.
Hayes Valley, dubbed “Cerebral Valley”: A Hub for AI Innovation
The neighborhood, NW of Van Ness and Market is Hayes Valley, now known as “Cerebral Valley” (article from The Standard), has become a key area for AI development in the city. Inspired by this trend, a collective named Cerebral Valley was formed as a co-living and co-working space where AI founders are working on next-generation projects. This innovative hub, run by my friends Ivan and Mike, hosts hackathons and working groups, fostering a vibrant community of AI innovators. Learn more at Cerebral Valley, in most cases you can find this crew at Shack15…
Shack15: Co-working and Events with a Bay View
Run by my friend Jørn Lyseggen, founder of Meltwater, Shack15 is situated in the iconic Ferry Building and offers a beautiful co-working and event space. There are numerous AI startups coworking, meeting, and several after-hours events focused on AI. It’s an ideal location for networking, collaboration, and soaking in the stunning views of the city. Visit Shack15 for more information about events and membership, it’s appropriately priced. You’ll find me there about once a week.
AWS Loft: A Central Hub for AI Startups
Located on Market in FiDi, in between Hayes Valley and the Ferry Building where Shack15 is, the AWS Loft is a co-working spot where startups centralize to use the many tools AWS offers for AI developers. It hosts the Generative AI cohort and provides access to services like Bedrock and other AWS cloud services tools. My AWS buddy is Mark Birch, follow him on Twitter.
Founders, Inc. Lab: A Space for Builders in Fort Mason
Founders, Inc. Lab in San Francisco is a workspace for founders to build innovative companies. It offers a hardware lab for creating robots and brain-computer interfaces, an open workspace, a state-of-the-art podcast studio, and a pop-up events space. Additional amenities include a gym, a gaming room, and a variety of creative tools. The Lab fosters a community of ambitious builders, providing an environment for collaboration and innovation.
AGI House: An AI Community in a Mansion 20 min South of SF
Located in the affluent Bay Area neighborhood of Hillsborough, the AGI House is a mansion that houses up to ten AI founders and researchers. It hosts weekly events like dinners, hackathons, and fireside chats. The residents, including a researcher from OpenAI, work on a variety of AI-related startups. The house also organizes exclusive dinner parties and discussions on AI’s impact on various sectors.
Llama Lounge: Where AI Startups Meet You, Monthly, SF
Finally, don’t miss out on the Llama Lounge, an event I host, where AI startups come to meet you. With a dynamic speaker, hundreds of attendees, and Detroit/SF pizza, it’s a must-visit for anyone in the AI space. Register for Llama Lounge August, space is limited, we had 200 folks on wait list unable to get into the last one.
Palo Alto will be the next AI hotspot
To watch, a regular Palo Alto AI meetup is forming on Mondays, hosted by my friend Murray Newlands, here’s my photo on Twitter. While still in the early period of community formation, Palo Alto is usually the second hotspot outside of SF proper.
These hotspots are more than just locations—they’re communities where ideas are shared, collaborations are formed, and the future of AI is being shaped. I hope you find this information useful and look forward to hearing about your experiences in these exciting spaces.