We have heard of dorm style accommodations and hostels in the traditional sense (off course unlike the setup you saw in the film – The Hostel), but have you ever heard of a hacker hostel? Well, as we all know that there are a lot of business incubators in San Francisco that offer entrepreneurs a place to code during the day. However, there aren’t many that offer sleeping arrangements as well.
A hacker hostel is a place where computer programmers, coders, designers and scientists can spend the night for $40. 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. Also, every once in a while food is cooked for the group.
These hacker hostels are all run by the same management company, Chez JJ, with accommodations in Mountain View, Menlo Park and San Francisco in California. Chez JJ was founded by 28-year-old neuroscientist Jade Wang and Jocelyn Berl. The idea for the hostel came up when Wang had used Airbnb (a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations from around the world) to rent a room in her apartment; a fellow “nerd” crashed with her. Soon Wang was working on the concept of the hacker hostel.
Like any startup incubator, new comers actually have to be working on something to be accepted. Tenants are screened by hostel captains, all of whom are women. Tenants at the hostel feel very strongly about a community spirit and feel that if we want to do something to change the world and make it a fundamentally better place; we need to be around the right people, hence the hacker hostel.