For over a decade, the MV Maritol, nicknamed "The Icebreaker," has been docked at a Mission Bay pier in a berth rented from the Port of San Francisco. Over the last two years, a unique community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and thought leaders has grown up around the Icebreaker. But now that community— and the culture of innovation that makes San Francisco great— is at risk of being destroyed.
The Icebreaker is a community space unlike any other in San Fransisco— an Icelandic cargo ship reimagined by a local architect. We've built a unique workspace where startups contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the city's economy have been started or accelerated, including my company WhatWeOrder.com. My co-founder and I found investors, advisors, and some of our first customers through the Icebreaker community. As you can see in the video above, my startup is definitely not alone. Places like the Icebreaker are a symbol of— and the reason why— San Francisco is a global leader in innovation.
Unfortunately, the Port of San Francisco has told The Icebreaker they will not renew our lease after October 31st, 2013— destroying the vibrant community that has been built in this space. But Mayor Ed Lee and Port of San Francisco Executive Director Monique Moyer have the power to preserve this community of leaders and innovators by renewing The Icebreaker’s lease at Pier 50 or a different berth at one of their many other piers.
It’s critical to keep the ship, along with the innovation and collaboration it fosters, here in San Francisco. With enough signers to our petition, our public servants will have to listen and work with the The Icebreaker community members to keep it, and its contributions to the city's culture and economy, in San Francisco.
Please join us in helping innovation thrive in San Francisco!