A collaborative space that provides creatives, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between with the tools and resources they need isn’t a pipe dream — it’s a makerspace! Makerspaces can be excellent resources for startup founders, especially during the initial stages of launching a startup. Lucky for you, we have the guide for everything you need to know about what a makerspace is, why you should consider using one, and how to find the right one for you.
Guide to Makerspaces for Entrepreneurs
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re on a budget. Investing in equipment right away isn’t always an option for new entrepreneurs. Fortunately, makerspaces provide a community-focused solution that can save you money while giving you access to the tools you need to start your own startup.
Makerspaces, otherwise known as fab labs, TechShops, or hackerspaces, are community spaces that offer access to tools and resources for public use. Typically, you will find technology and equipment at makerspaces such as 3D printers, soldering irons, laser cutters, and more. However, these spaces aren’t exclusively tech-based; some simply provide a variety of art supplies and a space for collaboration. Each makerspace is different, and many cater to a specific demographic such as entrepreneurs or artists.
Additionally, at many makerspaces, you can find educational resources for a variety of valuable skills such as coding and writing. Or, they may teach more hands-on skills such as 3D molding, sewing, and woodworking. The key to getting the most out of your makerspace is to find the location that most closely matches your goals, interests, and needs. Not only can the right makerspace provide you with tools and resources to start your startup, but it can also provide you with a community of others who are on the same path as you to collaborate with.
Benefits of Makerspaces
Now you know what a makerspace is, but what are the benefits of going to one? These community-oriented spaces are brimming with potential benefits whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, or student. Here are a few of them:
- You can utilize the necessary equipment without the expense of purchasing your own.
- You are able to network with others working on businesses or creative projects.
- Makerspaces are typically low-cost.
- You may have access to a plethora of additional resources that can be used to further your projects, such as courses and networking opportunities.
How Do Makerspaces Support Startup Entrepreneurs?
Oftentimes, makerspaces and hackerspaces serve as an accelerator for entrepreneurs. In fact, there have been several successful startups that have utilized these community spaces during the beginning stages of their startup journey.
Not only do makerspaces provide a collaborative space that is ideal for networking with other entrepreneurs and creatives, but they also make it possible for startup entrepreneurs on a budget to have access to expensive tools and materials that they might not otherwise have access to.
How Do I Find a Makerspace Near Me?
The good news is that makerspaces are everywhere. But, finding the right one for you can be a bit overwhelming. The best place to start is your local community centers, libraries, and schools. Keep these things in mind when you are searching for the right makerspace for you:
- The type of equipment you need
- Your membership budget
- Additional resources you are looking for in this community