Each week, as we get to know our community and the broader IoT movement, we’re fortunate to connect with some remarkable individuals and organizations. In our “Makerspace Profile” series, we interview makerspace founders to learn more about the maker movement around the world.
In this profile, you’ll meet TinkerMill based in Longmont, CO.
See the video of the interview here: http://www.tinkermill.org
How did TinkerMill start?
We created a startup group called Longmont Hackerspace Meetup. Our first meeting was 6 people. The next week, 10, the next 15. After a couple of months and 50 people interested in starting a hackerspace/makerspace. We decided to pool some money and find a place to rent. That was July of 2013. We’ve come a long way since then (largest makerspace in this 7 state region, 150+ paying members, almost 600 members on meetup, etc.). The original idea was to create a space that is effectively a community workshop. A space where people can learn, they can teach, and they can create. So that’s what really TinkerMill is.
What was the initial response to TinkerMill like?
Much more than expected. We had no idea Longmont had so many creatives in it looking for a place to focus their learning, teaching and creating.
What does “hacking” mean to you and your community?
It means taking things apart and putting them back together again, usually better than before. It’s also a word that has too many negative connotations, unfortunately, so we avoid using it now. We prefer maker to hacker.
What kind of equipment and resources do you provide participants?
We support the concepts of a community workshop, and we field an exceptionally talented membership that supports each other and other community entities in learning, teaching, collaborating and creating. We encourage the creation of new products and businesses from our members through mentoring and onsite office and workshop space for new businesses to create new companies. We are leaders in our community and powerful advocates for science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
What projects are people working on?
TinkerMill is a place where like-minded people interested in art, technology, science and business can collaborate on creative projects; share tools; learn; teach; make things; prototype new ideas, products and services; start ventures; meet new people; and share knowledge.