Was the Makerbot Sale the Biggest of a Company Started in a Hackerspace?

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Congrats to Bre Petis and the Makerbot team for merging with Stratasys to the tune of $400 million. Makerbot famously started in the Resistor Hackerspace in Brooklyn,

From the Resistor blog here's an early announcement of Makerbot Industries: 

If you’ve been at NYC Resistor lately, you may have seen random prototyped bits laying around. We’ve done pretty much all of our R&D for this machine using our laser cutter and the other various tools we have at the hack space here. I’m personally really happy to see something like this blossom out of our shared space, and I’m looking forward to hacking on this machine much more in the future. If anyone wants to try and design a 3D model, we’d be more than happy to try and print it out for you. We’ll have the machine fired up and printing stuff out for craft night this Thursday, and hopefully all the Thursdays after that as well!

Is the Makerbot sale the biggest transaction for a company started in a modern hackerspace?

Maker Camp at Your Hackerspace?

Maker Camp sounds like a great way for a Hackerspace to raise awareness in your community, help mentor kids, and find new members (kids would have to go with an adult). Maker Camp has a program to make people aware of the program here:

http://makezine.com/maker-camp/summer-camp-program/

Some of the suggestions from Make: 

Have teens do the daily project at home, upload photos and videos to the Maker Camp Community page on Google+, then gather in your program space to view the broadcast Hangout of the day, hosted by the Camp counselor and other teens on-air.
Create a “makerspace” in your program space and have the teens do the project together, upload photos and videos of their projects, then watch the live broadcast of the Hangout together to see other teens’ experience making the project.
Host the Field Trip days at the program so teens can view a live broadcast of an epic field trip at a cool destination, hosted by Maker Camp Counselors and the Maker Camp Director.

The Danbury Hackerspace won't open until after this program is over, but I'm already thinking about next year...

Why Start a Blog about Hackerspaces & Makerspaces?

When I first heard about hackerspaces a few years ago I was completely transfixed by the concept of a bunch of people getting together and creating a space to work on projects.  Much like the early computer user groups I helped start about 30 years ago, hackerspace and makerspaces are a modern version of the computer clubs where people shared their knowledge, worked together on projects, and sometimes even create a real company (more on that in future posts). 

I've been working with a great team of people for the past 18 months to open the Danbury Hackerspace & Coworking Facility in a building connected to the Danbury Library. In November of 2012 the voters of Danbury approved a $550,000 bond to help renovate the space to our specifications, and it was unanimously approved by a 3-1 margin.

We've had a lot of help from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Michele Capozzella from the Danbury Library, CityCenter Danbury, the Danbury Area Computer Society, and other hackerspaces around Connecticut. A special thanks to BIll Saturno from CT Hackerspace, who showed up at our first meeting and has been advising us since the start.

The City of Danbury helped us produce the First Danbury Mini Maker Faire on June 8th to help raise awareness of the Danbury Hackerspace, and we've been told this is the first time a City has produced a Mini Maker Faire. The Danbury Maker Faire was also the first time all of the hackerspaces in Connecticut were together at an event, something I hope to see happen all over the state. 

So, why did I start a blog about hackerspaces & makerspaces? Because it's not easy to start one, and I want to share information on starting, running, and growing a hackerspace. Some of the topics I want to cover include:

  • Hackerspaces vs. Makerspaces
  • Non-profit vs. profit 
  • Leasing a building (or getting one for free) 
  • Products created at hackerspaces
  • Safety (some tools can kill a person)
  • Insurance
  • Activities
  • Marketing (Meetup is your new best friend) 
  • Finding a space
  • Dealing with problems
  • A minimal viable shop to get started
  • Maker Faires
  • Promotion
  • Legal issues
  • Working with your local City officials 
  • Types of hackerspaces
  • Coworking opportunity
  • And much more....

If you have a story idea, hackerspace activity, product that was created at a hackerspace, news or just want to say "Hi!" you can email me at hackerspacenews@gmail.com