Evan Buhler moved to San Francisco’s Hayes Valley three months ago to build an AI company that would combine the buzzy technology and his experience as a startup attorney. At the time, he didn’t realize he had moved to the heart of a movement.
Hayes Valley, which has been nicknamed “Cerebral Valley” by tech enthusiasts and builders, is exploding with happy hours, networking events and hackathons focused on one thing: artificial intelligence. Some attribute the spotlight to a rise in hacker homes in the area, others think San Francisco just needed some good press, but perhaps most importantly to eager entrepreneurs amid a downturn, it has the attention of top-tier investors.
“It almost feels like destiny. I think it’s going to become the economic and spiritual center of San Francisco,” Buhler said of his new stomping grounds. “I saw a competitor raise $5 million from OpenAI; the frothy environment is inspiring to a lot of entrepreneurs” who wouldn’t have made the jump otherwise, he described.
Buhler, looking to spread word of his new startup, was one of the 200 founders, investors, engineers and entrepreneurs at the one-day Cerebral Valley Summit, hosted by tech journalist Eric Newcomer and AI gaming startup Volley. Early-stage startups and storied entrepreneurs, buzzing with excitement, discussed the opportunity of the current moment on stage and at the literal watercooler.