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 Wellington Makerspace based in Wellington, New Zealand.
How did Wellington Makerspace start?
I wanted my own workshop with cool digital tools and my mate was making some stuff at the time that we thought we could sell… so I got a premises.
It wasn’t a “Makerspace” until a member of the community said “ooo.. your workshop is kinda like a Makerspace!” and then we capitalised on the name and the ensuing wave of current popularity.
What was the initial response to Wellington Makerspace like?
Hey, like all new and exciting things, people gravitated towards the place. However many came to the opening parties but never actually took out memberships. Businesses love us.
What kind of equipment and resources do you provide participants?
We don’t have participants as that model doesn’t work IMHO. Wellington Makerspace is a business and as such has culled all the non-money making stuff (except the kids education/innovation which I teach and support for free whilst my new charity gets up and running).
We offer the use of lasercutters and rental of the classroom and gear only, but don’t have members per se. We do offer paid classes for adults tho’ on regular basis.
Most interactions are typical business transactions i.e. services or sales and we do heaps with the 2 local Universities whose students don’t really seem to want to make anyhting and just pay us to do their projects!
What does “hacking” mean to you and your community?
Our community tends to be mainly ‘crafty’ or ‘tech’ product based, hacking doesn’t really register to a large degree although the inner sanctum hardcore guys (like us) hack to make things work – even with client projects. The Inner sanctum brigade (i.e. myself and like minded individuals who helped get the space up and running) tend to use the makersspace, connections & gear to incubate our own stuff to see we can create the all elusive “tech exit” 🙂
What projects are people working on?
Heaps. But if I told you, I’d have to kill you. Seriously, I’m not sure but we do many little supporting pieces for all sorts of creative types who are mainly working to get something up and running. I myself and Wolf (my offside employee are currently growing the design-make services and a supply company to help get technology into every New Zealand School. I’m also working on an aquisition of Wellington Makerspace so I can set up a 3000sqm facility which will operate as a tech innovation and incubation hub – with a focus to create new fast-growth businesses, born out of creatives just hanging out and drinking beer/coffee surrounded by kit and ideas.
What are your future plans?
Oh I think I just answered that one. 😉