Reporting Live From pariSoma in SF

I’m here in the middle of my second day working from pariSoma, the “innovation loft” in San Francisco (and headquarters for the San Francisco arm of faberNovel) and thought I’d take a minute to check in on the blog.

pariSoma is a very cool space. A huge, split-level building with plants and what looks like parts of airplanes positioned around the perimeter. Right now there are about 30 people working away on tables around the room (the tables are actually ping pong tables I see on closer inspection – I wonder what kind of tournaments happen here?). There is an air of intensity but also fun here. I like it.

Today I’ve met some interesting people with interesting startups, including Vidcaster, a site that lets you “easily create video websites” (I want one of those!), AwayFind, an app that pings you whenever important emails arrive in your inbox (so you don’t have to always fidget with your phone and check every 3 minutes), and StateWare, a site that is creating an open data web search engine (difficult for this front end-kind of guy to grasp, but very impressive once I did).

I also just had lunch with Jay Nath, San Francisco’s Director of Innovation who works one block away. We talked about civic apps, city app stores, and the differences (and similarities) between SFs and NYC’s civic app scene, and what the next big steps are for cities and tech.

In all, pariSoma is a really cool ecosystem for innovation – all sorts of ideas are flying around here, big and small. You can’t help but think that some will collide and form even better ideas.

There is talk (talk) about doing a similar “innovation loft” in NYC. We’re not sure it will work out, not sure the opportunity is right or the price is right (NYC real estate is… well, NYC real estate). But I hope it does. pariSoma would be a great thing to import to NYC.

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