Gina Lujan did not meet her Hacker Lab co-founders the usual way. They were not
childhood friends. They did not launch their business from their Harvard dorm
room, or at incubators like Y Combinator or TechStars.
Lujan first met Charles Blas and Eric Ullrich after they responded to her personal ad
on Craigslist that read: “seeking all hackers and enthusiasts – where are you?”
“I got a few weird responses,” admitted Lujan, but she also hooked up with Blas, a
hacker who works for a local security company. “It was like founder at first site. The
minute we met each other we said let’s do this.”
Last year the trio launched Sacramento-based Hacker Lab, a tech co-working space
that doubles as a start-up incubator. Lujan had been running a similar co-working
business in nearby Berkeley, but was forced to leave when her landlord’s rental
property was foreclosed on.
The 10,000 square foot facility has a dozen offices, which Hacker Lab rents out for
$500 a month. They also offer desk space, mostly used by students, for $45 to $100 a
month. In addition, they host weekly tech events such as meet-ups, hackathons and
educational seminars that regularly draw 50 or more people.