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Meet The Newest Founders Den Tenant: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

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Last month, we first wrote about Founders Den, a new “private clubhouse” for entrepreneurs in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMa district. In that short amount of time, they’ve grown quickly and are now just about filled to the brim with young entrepreneurs working on a wide range of new startups. But their newest tenant is one they could have never anticipated: Gavin Newsom.

Yes, the Lieutenant Governor of California (and former San Francisco Mayor) has decided to forgo space in the stodgy old government buildings in the city and instead will call the Founders Den his home when he’s working out of the city (where he still lives).

This is both a refreshing move by the Lieutenant Governor and a huge get for the Founders Den, obviously. Why is Newsom doing it? “To bring innovation back to our state government,” as he puts it. “Founders Den provides the kind of collaborative and creative atmosphere to foster new ideas not only for emerging new businesses, but government as well,” he notes.

While he was still mayor, Newsom was often in the spotlight (during events like TechCrunch Disrupt) championing startups like Twitter for bringing jobs and excitement to San Francisco. He also had some progressive ideas in terms of opening up city data, which he outlined in a guest post for us in 2009.

I had the chance to stop by Founders Den earlier today to meet up with the Lieutenant Governor and to see how he’s working out of his new office. It’s pretty interesting. The place was abuzz with excitement with him in it, as he was taking a meeting on behalf of the state. I also had a chance to sit down with him to talk a bit about the idea, the space, and the state of the tech scene in the city — including yes, the state of Twitter and its status as a city tenant. Watch our chat below.

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