The AI Boom Inside Silicon Valley Start-Up Accelerators

The archbishop’s mansion in San Francisco, built in 1904, is now a stately hotel at the northeast corner of Alamo Square Park. Since February, it has been rented out entirely to HF0, or Hacker Fellowship Zero, a start-up accelerator that provides 12-week residencies for batches of fellows from 10 different start-ups. Their experience, which culminates in a demonstration day, is supposed to be the most productive three months of the fellows’ lives. Dave Fontenot, one of HF0’s founders, was inspired by the two years he spent living in monasteries in his 20s: While monastery life was materially ascetic, he found that it was luxurious in the freedom it gave residents to focus on the things that really mattered. And at the Archbishop’s Mansion this year, almost everyone has been monastically focused on what has become San Francisco’s newest religion: artificial intelligence.

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