Here's an update on where we're up to with makespace. We know that some of you have felt that we're being rather quiet; this is simply because we're doing a lot of admin work at present and until we have the next bits in place (notably, space and initial funding) we don't want to shout too loudly, as we won't be in a position to accept and benefit from help and support until then. We're very grateful for your patience and are confident that through 2011 you'll see a lot of progress and activity...
A reminder of our objectives:
Makespace will bring the FabLab concept, already successful in other parts of the world, to Cambridge and the East of England. It will provide:
* A community prototyping workshop with modern equipment, suitable for developing high-tech prototypes, such as 3D printers, 2D laser cutters, and electronics tools * An associated network to bring together enthusiasts, innovators, the prototyping industry, consultants, businesses and educational communities in a mutually beneficial way.
We have found 2 potential spaces, and progress is being made on both.
* Disused shop(s) on Newnham Road. This is available rent-free until August 2012, but we need to secure planning permission for change of use. It's a fairly good space and we're continuing to pursue it as a back up in case of delays or blockers on our preferred space, which is:
* Old IfM Mill Lane basement. We have an academic sponsor and the space is nominally allocated to us, but we are awaiting top level University approvals. This space is ideal in that it's an old workshop so has useful infrastructure already in place.
Over 200 members on “meetup” support list Over 20 founder member pledges (£250 each for initial 6 month membership) Strong engagement with STEMTeam (science, technology, engineering and maths outreach organisation)
We have incorporated as Makespace Cambridge Limited, with 3 directors. This is a not for profit; we are not looking into charitable status at this time but it remains an option open to us if we identify strong benefits to being a charity at any point. We have a bank account and are in the process of getting our bootstrap funding into the account.
We presented an interim report to Ideaspace (who are funding us through their Enterprise Accelerator scheme) on 17th February. Ideaspace did a press release about our funding recently: http://bit.ly/haMdcp
We're having informal meetings with potential commercial sponsors as such opportunities arise, and will ramp this up once we have space secured, as this will increase the appeal of our offering. We anticipate both funding and in-kind support from sponsors.
We applied for a £30k Royal Academy of Engineering “Ingenious” grant, and have got through the first round of selection; this would fund an outreach post to enable us to offer strong support for outreach particularly to young people from the early days of MakeSpace.
We are also investigating the potential for us to employ a workshop manager; this would potentially be a part time role to maintain the equipment and monitor the space.
It's Maker Faire UK in Newcastle on 12-13 March: http://makerfaireuk.com/
We're going to have a special day for those who are heading up to the Faire to wrap up their projects on Saturday 5th March; of course this day is also open to those with projects who aren't taking them to the Faire!
In the evening, we will have a show and tell, where those with projects can share what they've created and what they plan next; the evening is open to all including those who couldn't make the daytime event, to see what's been going on.
If you'd like to help:
- we'd welcome contacts at potential sponsoring companies, as we build relationships with them prior to asking for actual help. Please contact the Meetup group organisers if you know anyone who might be a potential sponsor.
- work on a project for our upcoming Hack Day!
- come and see the projects in show and tell to show your support to other makers
- tell interested friends to sign up to our Meetup group
- follow us on twitter @cammakespace