VIP Newsletter 006


Sent on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 10:25 AM Eastern Time.

Hi everyone,

Our big news since our last newsletter: Elon Musk donated $500,000 to Hack Club—our 2nd largest single contribution to date. Additionally, Hack Club has gone totally transparent with our finances—the first nonprofit we know of to do so.

Here’s your 2-minute read on how we’re building Hack Club—sent to 85 recipients, including our major donors & friends. Thanks for this time together.

How you can help:

  • We are seeking an introduction to the Emerson Collective, run by Laurene Powell Jobs and Managing Partner Arne Duncan. Can you connect us to them or someone on their team?
  • Retweet our announcement about Elon’s gift: see it on Twitter @hackclub
  • Introduce us to someone who could support Hack Club. Thanks to Ron Conway for introducing us to Patrick Collison and Jack Dorsey after our last update: Patrick is now speaking to Hack Club students June 11th.

Elon’s gift will help create 1,000 more Hack Clubs. Read our full announcement: I hope you share the same sentiments as Elon in feeling Hack Club students make you “feel more optimistic about the world.” Thank you to Elon, the head of his family foundation, Jared Birchall, and to Hack Club student and staff member, Theo Bleier, 16, who dug through public records to help us connect with the Musk Foundation.

Following this gift and winning the Frank Prize last year, we are making Hack Club’s finances 100% transparent to the public. Starting today, everyone on this email list, every Hack Club student worldwide, and any individual interested can see every transaction in our bank account at Hack Club is building a new kind of nonprofit that values full transparency. We will have more announcements around transparency soon.

Hundreds of students joined two ask-me-anything calls since our last update. Last Thursday, we had a sit-down AMA with Guillermo Rauch, the CEO of Vercel (formerly ZEIT), the creators of Next.js, Now, & many well-known open source libraries like Mongoose & You can watch Guillermo here. The week prior, we had Simone Giertz, a YouTube star, roboticist, & incredible maker who you’ve probably seen online in GIFs before. You can watch Simone here.

Screenshot of Zoom call with Simone

Our upcoming guests include Audrey Tang, the Digital Minister of Taiwan, on June 4th; and Patrick Collison, founder & CEO of Stripe, on June 11th.

What are Hack Clubbers up to?

This Friday, we’re launching Hack Club’s Summer of Making, led entirely by Hack Clubber Sam P., a 14-year-old Australian freshman in Singapore. The program will partner Hack Club students with professional developer mentors to complete a project this summer. We’ve helped them partner with GitHub, who is contributing $50K to help students buy needed hardware.

As the school year nears its ending, many of the 15 million US high school students are thinking about missed graduations, lost summer plans, and whether schools will reopen next fall. Claire W., 15 from Torrance, CA, is putting together a virtual Hack Club graduation for Hack Clubbers worldwide.

Hack Club students are shipping like crazy. Check out some of the many student projects from the past 2 weeks:

Hi there!

One project we’d particularly highlight is Hackagotchi, which is a Slack video game built by 4 students (Cedrick H., Eleeza, Rishi K., & Richard) across 3 countries, based on our community’s fake currency called GP. It features original illustration & animation, thousands of lines of code, and a growing userbase across the Hack Club Slack. They’ve received an external $1,000 grant for being one of the first games built in the Rust programming language.

We’re working away every day at building an amazing place on the internet for teenagers from all over the world to be creative, learn technical skills, and make friends. It’s humbling every morning to wake up to everything they’re sharing. Thanks for reading.


This newsletter was co-written with my COO, Christina Asquith, and head of storytelling, Lachlan Campbell, a former Hack Club student.


Zach Latta
Founder, Hack Club | | Donate
@zachlatta / fb / web / github

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