An unfortunate setback for Startup Sonoma County 08 Oct 2018
startupsonomaco santarosa

Santa Rosa is a wonderful city located within Sonoma county, and I have been encouraging just about anybody who will listen to come visit since I moved here some years ago. Glossing over a bunch of details, one year ago today the fires began, which tore into Santa Rosa. In reaction to that, a few of my friends and I, along with a number of other hackers and volunteers created Sonoma Fire Info. Some time after the fires were contained, a few of us set out to create something in response to rebuild in a different way, something would help invigorate the area we know and love, we created Startup Sonoma County

Startup Sonoma County aims to be a nexus for startups and entrepreneurs in Sonoma County, one which we have been fastidiously building out throughout the past summer. Despite the challenging juggling of finances which accompanies every new venture, we were getting set to formally open some time in the month of October.

Last Monday night/Tuesday morning Santa Rosa received its first strong rains of the season. For the fire risk, it was a great thing. For Startup Sonoma County, which due to a series of unfortunate events was having roofing work done, it was not a great thing.

The parts of the roof which were not being worked on, had partial failures, but the area above our office specifically had a fairly spectacular failure. The flowing water discovered that the quickest way down to the ground was through our ceiling and walls. My co-founders and I spent that Tuesday morning emptying hundreds of gallons of buckets and sweeping water out the front door, to prevent more damage from occurring.

(apologies for the poor focus on the video, my jaw was open too far for me to notice)

Eventually the ServPro calvary arrived and started handling the situation. One week later, there are still dehumidifiers and fans operating in the office. Additionally, they are removing a large amount of the ceiling and walls that were affected.

The positive aspects of this setback have been:

  • None of the computers or other equipment was damaged. Only furniture and some smaller items which are a bit cheaper and easier to replace.
  • Our landlord is active, involved, and a genuinely friendly guy. One I look forward to working with in the future.
  • We were preparing to bring in a lot more furniture, which hadn’t yet arrived, and therefore could not be damaged.

As of today, we don’t yet have a timeline for when the rebuild can begin, and from then, we won’t have an idea of when we will be able to open up again.

October in Sonoma county is really quite beautiful, these last couple years notwithstanding.