Pikes Peak Makerspace is softly launching its second location at the former Gazette campus on Pikes Peak Avenue. The operation, which supports tinkerers and startups from around the region, will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30. The grand opening is scheduled for November, according to Chris Vestal, cofounder of the makerspace. The location will join an existing operation within the Manitou Arts Center in Manitou Springs.
Vestal said he expects many of the members using the downtown location to be hobbyists, but three for-profit companies are already operating from the space.
“We’re ready to open the doors,” he said. “The first step is letting existing members know they can use this space immediately.”
The operation just received a grant from the Downtown Development Authority that will go toward purchasing equipment for the new location, he said, including a CNC routing table and a small-scale desktop circuit board manufacturing factory.
“With those two pieces of equipment and the equipment at the Manitou location. we now have technology and training available to this community that is nowhere else in Colorado,” Vestal said.
The Manitou location had reached equipment capacity, he said, adding there will be some duplicate equipment at both locations to help with crowding.
“We’ll have 3D printers at both, laser cutters at both and the Manitou location can expand its art supported crafts, like our wood and metal shops,” he said.
Classes, such as welding, will still take place in Manitou Springs, Vestal said, while the new location will offer more support for light fabrication and “a lot of support for product startups.”
Pikes Peak Makerspace also created a spinoff company, Traction Tractor, which exists to offer support for for-profit startups bringing products to market.
“If you have a cool idea for a golden widget, we’ll offer website support, we can prototype it, and people can test market their product without fully starting a company. If it has legs, we can support a [Doing Business As] or it can spinoff to its own company,” he said. “Support means marketing, an attorney, a full video editing area. You can make your Kickstarter video from the downtown location.”
Members at the new location will be capped at 100, while the Manitou Springs location has a cap of 80. Members will have access to both locations and memberships start at $55 a month.
For more information regarding the open house or Pikes Peak Makerspace, visit pikespeakmakerspace.org. To read previous coverage by the Business Journal on the makerspace, visit csbj.com/2016/05/06/makerspace-disrupts-retail-industry.