Do you love to tinker, build, create, tamper, and futz with things? Fort Collins may soon have its own tinkering space, as an interested group launched this last week to nominate initial board members, narrow down name choices, and iron out details like corporate structure.
The initial meeting of this start-up was set-up by Cody Daig, who is involved in the start-up company Ez3D, a 3D printer manufacturer here in Fort Collins. The first meeting was cancelled due to illness, but around eight enthusiastic people met anyway at the Fort Collins Discovery Museum to talk about the project.
The group at the most recent meeting included many who introduced themselves as liking to “tinker with things”, and then listed their least favorite color as an ice-breaker. The group included fifteen adults and three kids: programmers, software engineers, a pop-up artist, two graphic designers, a home school mom and dad and their kids, and a few engineers. Three people at the meeting have been involved in the Loveland CreatorSpace, another makerspace.
Six people volunteered with raised hands to be initial board members, with the assigning of title on hold.
They also talked about partnering with existing groups or non-profits, especially those involved in STEM fields, and requesting advisory help from groups that are already running “maker spaces”, like the Loveland CreatorSpace, CSU Makerspace, and the CSU Art School’s fabrication space. One online member, Jamie Leben, didn’t attend the meeting, but is currently serving as president of Loveland CreatorSpace, and was one of its founders. There was mention of Fort Collins city’s starting a creative district, and this group possibly being part of it.
The group discussed choosing a corporate structure, namely whether to be a for profit company, Colorado non-profit, or a 501-c3 non-profit. Each has its pros and cons. They are looking for legal advice on this point.
Attendees narrowed the large list of possible group names down to a final five: FoCo Creates!, Creator Hub, Idea Foundry, Fort Collins Makerspace, and Maker Forge. The choices are being voted on via a poll at the Meetup.com site, if others would like to weigh-in until July 2nd at the link below.
It was not yet discussed how the group will run, or membership will be structured. In the Loveland CreatorSpace, all staff are volunteers. Membership from $25-$100/month grants users access anytime, with no contracts. They have partnered with the Loveland artists’ community, offering gallery exhibit space. “Founders” have given, and continue to donate, $300 to help the project continue. The CSU Makerspace is open to CSU staff and students, as well as offering K-12 school faculty science kits and resources, and K-12 student events like science fairs and summer camps.
To find out more about the Fort Collins group, and the winning name, go online to Meetup.com and search “Fort Collins Hackerspace.” The Loveland CreatorSpace is at http://lovelandcreatorspace.com.
Update Oct. 2014 – Fort Collins Creator Hub name won. There is a bank account, by-laws, and a location committee in place. So far two free classes have been offered, and the group attended the NoCo Mini Maker Faire in Oct. 2014.
Written by Diana Sproul, tech-enthusiast, crafter, and founder of Sproul Creative Graphics and Website Design.