When Revv Oakland founder Mark Mussolino approached Nathan Schwartz of Oakland Real Estate five years ago with a plan to make their community the city’s next startup hub, he happened to water a seed planted years earlier during visits to the West Coast.
During Mr. Schwartz’s time in Palo Alto, Calif., during the early 2000s, he was impressed by the buzzing small business district found on University Avenue, a boulevard running through Stanford University’s campus. Hiding among the businesses — mostly tech-driven startups run by Stanford students — was one tiny office with a small blue and white sign advertising a company called “The Facebook.”
Between the university brain trust in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and the booming demand from the region’s tech startups for innovative work spaces, Mr. Mussolino said it was easy for Mr. Schwartz to see the potential of discovering the next Facebook atop a Forbes Avenue storefront.
After the Schwartz family decided to use the Meyran Avenue space that formerly housed new-age smoke shop Tela Ropa in 2011, Revv Oakland — a 5,000-square-foot co-working community perched above a beauty supply store and Peace, Love & Little Donuts — was born.