After the meeting, an organization co-founded by Conway, sf.citi, said it would collaborate with other local organizations, including the school district, to create three committees to advocate for more affordable housing, philanthropy and technical education for residents.
Tech companies also are trying to address one of the louder criticisms: a tax break designed to get more companies to relocate to the Mid-Market area.
To get the tax break, tech companies have to agree to a community benefit program. But some of these were criticized, including one program to pay employees to write Yelp reviews of local merchants.
So some tech companies are hoping cash might help. Twitter, for instance, has submitted paperwork to the city that promises to raise its donations from $75,000 in 2013 to $388,000 in 2014, along with the company buying $500,000 worth of products from local merchants.
"People have said terrible things and misbehaved in general, but I think for every one of those people, there are a handful more, 10 more, who are doing wonderful things," said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who is working on a start-up in San Francisco called Jelly, a question-and-answer service that enables users to pose queries to their social networks.
Rose Broome's start-up, HandUp, uses online crowdsourcing to collect donations for the homeless and the needy in San Francisco.
A woman who sells hand-crocheted dolls was able to raise $200 to get a street vendor's license. A man whose clothes were infested by bed bugs was able to get a Goodwill certificate for clothes.
Broome, 32, gave up a regular paycheck as a data analyst to start the company after walking by a woman sleeping on a sidewalk. She wondered whether technology could have helped the woman find shelter.
"So many hundreds of people have reached out to us saying, 'How can we help you and how can we help our community?'" Broome said. "It's easy to say this is all because of those tech people on the Google bus, but the problems are more complex than that."
But even as it tries to put forward a better foot, the tech industry has found ways to trip over itself.
Recent news that Google has started its own private ferry service to shuttle workers to Silicon Valley has added fuel to the fire. And last week, men wearing earpieces were spotted guarding Google bus stops in the city.
Many cities would love to have the problems San Francisco has. The tech boom has pulled the city out of the recession. Employment in the sector has risen 25% in two years and accounts for 8% of city jobs. The city's unemployment rate has dropped to 5.3%.
But even with thousands of housing units under construction and more planned, the flood of hoodie-wearing geeks has contributed to making large swaths of one of the nation's most expensive cities even more unaffordable.
The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $3,250, the highest in the U.S. The median sale price for houses is $850,000. The National Assn. of Home Builders ranks San Francisco as the most unaffordable housing market in the country.
Many in the tech community say it's unfair they are being blamed for an affordability crisis decades in the making. They say the fault lies with city policymakers who have failed to meet growing housing demand or to find shelter for the homeless population.
Dima Voytenko, an engineer who is married with two children, also commutes to his job in Silicon Valley on a private shuttle. He says he too struggles to afford his increasingly expensive Cole Valley neighborhood.
He has lived in San Francisco since 2000 and says protesters were right to call attention to private shuttles not compensating the city for use of public bus stops. But he says the divisiveness is "kind of unpleasant."
"We are not bad neighbors," he said. "I don't think of us [tech workers] as a separate category."