OAKLAND, Calif., July 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf joined Bay Area tech and community leaders this evening at a ribbon cutting event to mark the official opening of the Kapor Center for Social Impact's new home at 2148 Broadway. The building is intended to serve as a convening space for the region's tech and social justice communities.
"We are thrilled to be officially opening our doors," said Freada Kapor Klein, Partner, Kapor Center for Social Impact and founder of the Level Playing Field Institute. "We want this building to be the epicenter of the effort to make the tech ecosystem more diverse and inclusive -- a physical space where the biggest minds in tech and social impact can come together to find innovative solutions to real world problems."
The building will house the three Kapor entities: venture capital firm Kapor Capital, the charitable Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the non-profit Level Playing Field Institute, each of which work to address the leaks and barriers in the tech pipeline that push members of underrepresented communities out of the tech pipeline.
"The ability to create jobs and wealth through tech startups is truly valuable only if it lifts up everyone in the community, rather than increasing inequality," said Mitch Kapor, Partner, Kapor Center for Social Impact. "With the opening of our new building, we're planting our flag: we want to make Oakland the home of tech done right."
The new Kapor Center will reside in the refurbished 93-year-old building that has been renovated, but maintains much of its Classic Chicago-style charm. With 14 conference rooms and a newly-constructed 1,170 square foot rooftop reception area, it is intended to be a gathering place for Bay Area tech companies and nonprofits. The basement houses the Lotus Theater, a multipurpose auditorium that seats 100+ people.
The Kapor Center has been built to LEED Gold standards, including solar hot water panels on the roof and "daylighting" controls and occupancy sensors to reduce energy load. More than 75% of the pre-existing building has been reused for the new construction, and wood decking has been added to the roof to reduce the "urban heat island" effect.
The ground floor of the Center is Agave Uptown, a 4,000 square foot dining experience from Chef Octavio Diaz, bringing traditional cooking, culture and energy of Oaxaca, Mexico to Oakland. The restaurant includes a lively dining area and a grab-and-go counter, and the bar features an array of mescals and craft cocktails inspired by the chef's home.
The Kapor Center for Social Impact works to make the technology ecosystem and entrepreneurship more diverse and inclusive.