Entrepreneurs Aim To Build CT’s Largest Makerspace

[Hartford Business Journal] An Avon couple hopes to kick Connecticut’s burgeoning “makerspace” movement up a few notches, and they may have the funding to do it.

Bryan Patton and his wife Devra Sisitsky, co-founders of an effort to build in Hartford what would be the state’s largest makerspace, said they’ve raised approximately $1.3 million and are aiming to double that amount in the months ahead to get the space up and running.

Patton owns a home construction business and has been a self-described hobbyist and tinkerer for much of his life. Sisitsky has started several companies over the years and worked in health insurance and consulting.

Makerspace is a broad term that generally describes a communal space where a group of collaborators or “makers” work on projects in a variety of mediums, from woodworking and metalworking to computer coding and electronics. Connecticut has at least six makerspaces — including one already in Hartford — stretching from New London to Norwalk, and advocates say they could boost Connecticut’s innovation economy and talent pool.

Patton and Sisitsky are working to open their makerspace at the Colt Armory complex, though they have not yet signed a lease.

They’re hoping to make a funding announcement for their proposed MakerSpace CT at a Nov. 17 maker conference they’ve helped organize at the University of Hartford. The conference has booked Dale Dougherty, who founded MAKE: Magazine and licenses the “maker faire” brand to events around the country.

The couple hopes the summit will build buzz for MakerSpace CT and also attract the attention of Connecticut officials and potential sponsors/investors.

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Article originally published SEPTEMBER 12, 2016, Copyright New England Business Media

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