The second in Weekend Edition’s feature on hackerspaces, featuring Bre Pettis (MakerBot/NYC Resistor), Chris Thompson (Hive76), Jack Zylkin (Hive76) and Patrick Buckley (TechShop). This segment focuses on hackerspaces as a launchpad for new businesses. via NPR:
Last week, we broadcast a story on DIY hackerspaces. Now, those are real, not virtual spaces. They’re sort of communal work rooms where do-it-yourselfers can find the tools and expertise to repurpose everyday items.
This week, Jon Kalish reports on how these facilities serve as incubators for small businesses.
JON KALISH: You can join a hackerspace if you want to do crafts and put together electronic kits. But most are much more than that. They offer state of the art machinery and like-minded people who can inspire your own creativity. Hackerspaces are an ecosystem for invention and innovation.
KALISH: The Makerbot was created by three members of the Brooklyn Hackerspace NYC Resistor.
Mr. BRE PETTIS (Co-founder, Makerbot): Being at a hackerspace is what let us to start Makerbot.
KALISH: Hacker Bre Pettis is co-founder of Makerbot.
Mr. PETTIS: We had tools there. We had friends there all the time who were resources and helpful. And we just had a space that we could go to that wasn’t our living room, that wasn’t our kitchen, that wasn’t our closet, that was shared and could go and be creative at. And I just think it’s so important if you’re going to push the boundaries, to have a place where you can do it and have support.
KALISH: Pettis and his fellow hackers initially put together Makerbot kits at NYC Resistor, making parts with the hackerspace’s laser cutter. But demand was so high, they had to rent a manufacturing space of their own, which is known as the Bot Cave. Makerbot now has 15 employees.
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What struck me about this article was that the 2 primary examples of Makerbot and the jerky business cards at Hive 76 were using a laser cutter to start a business. At that very moment thousands of miles away deep in the desert, Heatsync labs started a Kickstarter campaign to buy a laser cutter.