Now what? Now that is launched, showcasing the #OaktownTech Ecosystem map and directory (many thanks to the nearly 200 folks who attended the event on Wednesday the 20th), our hope is that this evolving tool will enable better, quicker, deeper connections between Oakland’s tech players, and be a springboard for a concerted drive forward of an (appropriately inclusive) innovation economy and ecosystem.

So what are the next steps to moving forward in a powerful and coordinated fashion? We have no time to waste. As Susan Mernit and I outlined in Why Oaktown Tech? Oakland has all of the raw materials for a thriving (and appropriately inclusive) tech community here and the elements are starting to come together. Many conversations about boosting our tech economy and community are happening, yet I have a feeling that they’re too disparate and dispersed.

Perhaps the next step is to bring together the (appropriately inclusive) cross-section of tech entrepreneurs, economic development professionals, municipal leaders and planners, investors and financiers needed to get this moving. Maybe Oakland needs a consortium of funders who will invest five years of robust support in pursuit of a pedal-to-the-metal strategy to foster a thriving tech community. Maybe we can crowdsource our way to a solution through a big Oaktown throwdown all-hands-on-deck hackathon to put these puzzle pieces together.

In whichever case, this is the time for us to make far more progress than ever before on our homegrown (and appropriately inclusive – just reinforcing the emphasis) tech sector! We’re ready to play an active role (including leadership). Who’s in??

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