Tesseract Initiative was started in 2012 by multidisciplinary designer, artist, and programmer Clayton Ou as 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 change the world around them.

Over the years, the workshops expanded to include sessions on marketing, fundraising, videography, graphic design, and mechanical design, and moved to running out of classrooms lended by local high school robotics teams; the group of volunteers involved with the workshops grew accordingly as well and became increasingly diverse. By 2017, it was clear that the group had outgrown being a loose community 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 launching a formal organization. From then on, the group began officially operating as Tesseract Initiative and working towards becoming a proper nonprofit.

Since then, we've run events at a 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.

Whether through our programs or projects, we aim for our participants and team members alike to walk away with mutual respect and increased appreciation for each other's perspectives and skills, and the possibilities that arise at their intersections, thereby gaining personal growth. We value succeeding together, reaching effective compromises, and designing work within which everyone's perspectives are represented, respected, and incorporated. Through the pursuit of these goals, we ultimately seek to facilitate meaningful, positive change in the world.

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!