Photo: Hairy.Jacques via Flickr
From WeWork Labs to General Assembly, there are a lot of incubators that give entrepreneurs a place to code during the day.There aren’t many that offer sleeping arrangements as well.
Three “hacker hostels” have cropped up in Silicon Valley, The New York Times reports. Coders, designers and scientists can spend the night packed like sardines in rows of bunk beds for $40. The hostels are all run by the same management company, Chez JJ, with accommodations in Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Francisco.
Chez JJ was founded by 28-year-old neuroscientist Jade Wang and Jocelyn Berl. Wang had used Airbnb to rent a room in her apartment; a fellow “nerd” crashed with her. The idea for hostels sprung from there.
Most of the hostel tenants are 20-somethings who are currently building startups or are in search of inspiration. Every new comer is given a blanket, pillow, towel and sheets. There’s no TV. Every once in a while food is cooked for the group.
Not just anyone can stay at the hostels. Like any startup incubator, you actually have to be working on something to be accepted. Tenants are screened by hostel captains, all of whom are women, to make sure they’ll contribute to the hacker community. Tenants also have to have a good attitude or they’re kicked to the curb.
“The intellectual stimulation you get from being here is unparalleled,” one of the tenants, Justin Carden, tells NYT. “If you’re wanting to do something to change the world and make it a fundamentally better place, you need to be around the right people.”