Innovator of the Week
General Manager of Port City Makerspace
In A Nutshell . . . Tell Us About Your Startup Resource.
Port City Makerspace is a vital place where aspiring entrepreneurs and makers can go to use tools they might not have access to otherwise. As per our mission statement, we are a welcoming and inclusive community workshop that provides tools, knowledge, and a collaborative culture to encourage the artist and maker in everyone.
We provide a place to work on projects using equipment that is costly to purchase, big shared spaces in which to work, and a creative community that is always helpful and inspiring to be around. There are monthly classes and workshops as well, primarily covering training on how to use the available tooling, as well as some creative sessions that center around building a project or learning a skill.
What niche are you filling?
Our Makerspace fills the void of accessible workspace and tools for the community. If someone doesn’t have their own shop space, garage, or even yard to work on their projects, we provide them with what they need. Anyone looking for space can come work in ours, be it for building a 3D printed prototype, sewing together a design on our layout tables, making a mock-up out of scrap wood, making a fixture out of welded steel, or working on modifications to a vehicle or bike. There’s no limit to what people can work on, and we try to accommodate projects big and small as best we can with the space we have.
There is also the aspect of having a community around creativity and hands-on making, providing a kind of think-tank that everyone that comes to the Makerspace can utilize. It’s easy to get stuck on little things when working on projects alone, but having someone to bounce ideas off of helps come up with solutions quicker. A lot of members at the Makerspace work with different mediums and disciplines as well, which allows for the opportunity to learn a different technique or method of problem-solving.
We also schedule classes regularly that don’t exist at the level most people are looking for. A lot of our Intro classes are designed to give people a primer that enables them to work safely, and after are enabled to explore different techniques and ways to utilize the tools. For the self-motivated it allows them to get started and starting learning the things they want to learn right away.
Who or what was your best resource in helping your program get off the ground?
We have a group of 3 founders who put in a lot of their own tools, money, and time establishing the foundation of the Makerspace. It was their efforts that allow the space to exist today, and it is the continuing efforts of the members and community that keep it going. As a community everyone plays a part in making the space what it is today and improving it over time.
What does the future look like?
Our organization is still in the growing stages of its life, and our board of directors is working hard on developing the path that we will take. We hope to expand our offerings to the community and fill any demands we might not address currently, as well as grow our community with more hands-on workshops and events.
How can people get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers to help out the Makerspace in any way they can, whether that is maintaining part of the space, hosting a class or event on how to make something, or contribute time to help promote and spread the word. Anyone interested in volunteering can get in touch with our General Manager Alex Nunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Board of Director at email@example.com. There are also many other ways to help on our “Help the Space” page.
The best way to get involved is to become a member, start working on projects, and helping people in the space learn, build, hack, fix, and play.