CHM’s centers of expertise expand understanding through focused research, publishing, preservation, and programming efforts that build community, disseminate knowledge, and offer unique insights.
Center initiatives span the Museum’s core strengths, including collections, exhibits, education, events, research and insights, and thought-leadership.
The Exponential Center is the first museum institution devoted to capturing the legacy and advancing the future of entrepreneurship and innovation in Silicon Valley and around the world. We collect and share the stories of founders and builders of the Digital Age. We explore the birth, growth, and impact of iconic companies. We examine how Silicon Valley and other ecosystems around the world can serve humanity to inform and inspire the next generation of changemakers.
The Software History Center collects and preserves historical software, archives, and oral histories. The center explores people-centered stories, documents software-in-action, and leverages the Museum’s rich collections to tell the story of software. The center seeks to put history to work today in gauging where we are, where we have been, and where we are heading.
Collaborating with teams across CHM, the Exponential Center’s Women In Tech Initiative recognizes and shares women’s fundamental contributions to technology innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to do our part to support and enable more diversity and inclusion for innovators and entrepreneurs as we move into the future.
The Software History Center’s Xerox Alto System Project explores yesterday’s “computer system of tomorrow.” With functioning Alto hardware and original Alto software, we use archival-grade video to document and preserve the performance of the Alto system, including demonstrations and discussions with its builders, for today’s future.
Courage, Creativity, Bold, Be Humble, Grit, Kindness . . . These are just a few of the words of advice offered by Silicon Valley leaders to aspiring entrepreneurs. They are featured in the One Word educational initiative led by the Exponential Center. The multiformat project aims to inspire and motivate people to think about what it takes to start and build a company. One Word includes a CHM lobby exhibit, booklet, education workshops, and curriculum materials.
The One Word project is made possible by a generous grant from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.
Since 2008, over a hundred billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s App Store onto iPhones and iPads: a mobile “app revolution.” The Software History Center is exploring its long history, from the history of software engineering to object-oriented programming, and from Steve Jobs’ second company, NeXT, to the stories of iPhone engineers.
The Exponential Center is leading an ambitious program to capture and share the stories of pioneering venture capitalists and their partnerships with disruptors and innovators that extend from idea to IPO and beyond. Through a variety of activities that capitalize on the Museum’s core strengths, the center will explore what the industry does, how it works, and what happens when venture capitalists and entrepreneurs join forces to create a company.
According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women held just 25 percent of professional computing jobs in the US in 2015. How damaging is this gender gap to the future of the tech industry? Dr. Marie Hicks sat down with David C. Brock, director and curator of the Software History Center, to share insights from her book Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost its Edge in Computing.
UpStart is a prototype of the first traveling museum exhibit focused on exploring the ecosystems that support tech entrepreneurship. It will establish a sustainable model and platform for gathering and sharing the experiences of startup ecosystems all over the country and eventually the world.
UpStart is made possible by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.