By Meg Bertoni
Technology salon and hotspot Tech Liminal has proudly occupied its space at 268 14th St. since 2009.
Earlier this month, it signed the lease for its new space at 555 12th St., where it takes up residence the first week of January.
When it opened, Tech Liminal was the only co-working space downtown. It has since served the community with an interesting hybrid of virtual and physical space, empowerment and expertise, offering everything from hourly desk rental to workshops and technology services. It would make sense that an organization so focused on community and technology would raise funds for its move with a crowdfunding campaign.
“Crowdfunding is a great way to ask the community for help directly,” founder Anca Mosoiu said. “We're also using our campaign as a way to see what kinds of things people are interested in seeing us do in the next year.”
So far, the move is more than half funded, all by customers and interested community members.
“Some of our supporters have been very generous,” she adds. “And I've been humbled and pleased that our community is reaching out.” The results are encouraging. In addition to being able to make donations and get membership and co-working discounts, “We've had several people sponsor parties, which means more events like the Wiki Women's Wikipedia Edit-a-thon,” which took place over the weekend and exemplifies why Mosoiu started Tech Liminal.
A long-time IT consultant, she was traveling a lot, which kept her from feeling as engaged in the Oakland community as she would have liked.
“I have a lot of technical training and expertise,” she said. “But I was mainly using it to help large companies in a way that isolated me from the direct results of what I was doing.”
In helping local organizations with their electronic presences, she discovered a need. In a world where having Internet visibility and the expertise to get and maintain it are so important to any cause or organization, few independent ones seemed to know how to do it. They also seemed to have difficulty finding people with the skills to help them.
“Tech Liminal came from my passion of working with people one-on-one, helping them figure out how to apply technology to solve problems," Mosoiu said. "I wanted to create a safe, friendly space where people could learn how to use tools as well as get services."
The new space, a block from Old Oakland, has more space than even the current airy (if outgrown) layout. Tech Liminal can keep its retail storefront presence that welcomes walk-ins and folks who can’t reach them electronically … yet.
To get involved and let Tech Liminal know what you’d like to see in their new location, check the Indiegogo site, Tech Liminal’s Facebook page and be sure to share them through your social media channels. If you’re not sure how to do that, you know what to ask for in Tech Liminal’s new year of programming.