Impact Hub Berkeley was a social innovation experiment. The idea was to launch a small Impact Hub before diving into the giant market of San Francisco. Berkeley would be the test kitchen; it was the place to try out the hypothesis and tweak the business model for success. And lo and behold, it worked.
With a location in the LEED Platinum Certified David Brower Center and neighbors focused on sustainability across all sectors, Impact Hub Berkeley was deliberately crafted to anchor a thriving community. Physically, our space provides expansive windows, natural light, clean indoor air quality, and infrastructure from recycled materials. We buy our products from fellow B Corporations whenever possible and firmly root ourselves in the belief that businesses can and should do good.
Back in 2009, our first large-scale community offering was a building-wide party with KIVA and Good Magazine. Over 800 people attended to celebrate the launch of Impact Hub in the USA and KIVA's 4th birthday. Our earliest members included Change.org, Job Rooster, Good Capital, CoFed, Sustainable Economies Law Center, Hub Ventures, Ashoka Youth Ventures, SENDA, and more. Today, we continue to foster an open space for bringing people together.
As one of our founders, Tim Freundlich says, "It was a barn raise to be sure…seeing the community find its ‘town square’ and reconnect the fabric of social innovation that was just waiting to happen, that was one of the most rewarding aspects of this for those involved."