Tesseract Initiative's roots lie in 2012, when multidisciplinary designer, artist, and programmer Clayton Ou began running a then-unnamed series of workshops for high school students.

Seeking to bring together his varied interests in digital media, engineering, and social sciences while sharing his passions with others, Clayton - a college student at the time - got together some friends and began running workshops, with the support of his and his friends' parents' who allowed the group to use their living rooms. Initially, the workshops focused on introducing animation specifically to high school robotics students to encourage them to broaden the palette of skills they could use to realize their own ideas and address challenges around them.

Over the years, the workshops expanded to also include sessions on marketing, fundraising, videography, graphic design, and mechanical design; moved to running out of classrooms lended by local high school robotics teams; and enlisted an increasingly large group of presenters. By 2017, it was clear that the group had outgrown being a loosely organized collective, and so in the fall of that year, Clayton assembled friends and collaborators new and old from the group throughout the years to discuss developing a more cohesive identity and structure. It was then that the group adopted the name Tesseract Initiative.

Since we began, we've run events at a varied spectrum of venues - from major companies such as Microsoft, PCH, Google, Arm, and Oracle, to emerging hacker/makerspaces such as Starfish Mission, Hacker Dojo, and Maker Nexus - on a curated, continually updated selection of relevant topics. We've collaborated on events with like-minded organizations such as Hackaday, Western Region Robotics Forum, Teeny Makerspace, MakeX, and even one of our biggest inspirations, FIRST California. We've brought our events to classrooms and computer science fairs, and helped contribute to the launch of events run by other groups as well, such as Spartan Robotics' Spartan Series and Team Paradox's Marketing Conferences. We've developed our own curriculum and resources to support all these efforts. And along the way, we've inspired dozens of participants each year - while also making sure our own skills and team dynamic stay up to scratch by working together internally on projects such as designing our brand and website in-house, participating in game jams, and more.

Early Contributors

We'd like to recognize the following individuals for helping with our earliest events, allowing us to get to where we are today:

Annie Zhang, Mayank Tiwari, Patrick Ruehl, Rachel Leung, Vivek Sridhar, Yuka Sakazaki, Domenic Allen, Emma Lewis, Griffin Bajor, Daniel Zhang, Isabelle Pichay, Novia Wong, Ananya Bapat, Ben McAuliffe, Clarissa Kam, Erika Estrada, Erin Mar, Evan Yap, Ginger Schmidt, Jake McCann, Lauren Meier, Sean Stone, Amanda Liu, Jacob Baker, and Thuy Nguyen

We'll always be grateful for their contributions!