On Friday, March 1st, MakerspaceCT kicked off its final phase of construction in the former G. Fox building on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut.
MakerspaceCT will be the largest makerspace in Connecticut and the 2nd largest in New England. Prospective inventors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students across the region will be empowered with access to tools, technology, resources and learning opportunities.
Executive Director, Devra Sisitsky, proudly announced that the grand opening will be Saturday, April 13, 2019, the culmination of five years of planning and hard work.
“This is the kind of project that takes a lot of people, a lot of energy and a lot of big brains,” said Sisitsky at the gathering of supporters, donors, business leaders and dignitaries. She shared the podium with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Senator Richard Blumenthal.
“We found a supportive community here in Hartford and we are very grateful to be here,” Sisitsky said. “Mayor Luke Bronin has been my champion throughout this entire journey.”
Hartford has worked hard to position itself to be at the forefront of the industrial revolutions that are happening today — most recently in the areas of Insurtech, advanced manufacturing, digital health and social enterprise. As many as fifty to seventy startups from around the world are attracted to the Hartford area each year to participate in accelerators hosted by Startup Bootcamp, Stanley Black and Decker and many others.
“This space is a vital addition to the innovation ecosystem in Hartford,” said Bronin. “It helps ensure that our community, our residents, our neighbors who have the vision to start a business or invent something, that they have a place to do it. The fact that MakerspaceCT is also committed to an educational mission is also vitally important.”
MakerspaceCT will offer a range of courses, and will collaborate with local colleges and schools. Courses will enable students, entrepreneurs, women, innovators and anyone interested in learning and using tools for developing prototypes and innovations the opportunity to use on-site equipment and materials, working with on-site professionals.
Susan Bysiewicz echoed the excitement about the potential for economic development and education.
“What’s exciting about this space is that young people are here and hopefully more will want to come to downtown Hartford,” she said. “I see it as a way to revitalize our cities. The potential is in this space to grow great new businesses, great new ideas and a better Connecticut.”
When MakerspaceCT opens in April, it will provide access to tools and technology for local inventors, innovators, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and students. It is a springboard for innovation, and a new way to boost careers and interest in traditional and advanced manufacturing, technology, hardware development and preparation to function in Industry 4.0.
“Making things has always been in Connecticut’s DNA. What will you make?” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, referring to the slogan printed on the side of the podium on the event stage. “That’s the challenge we are facing in our nation today. What will we be making better than anyone else? The answer is in this room. If there is one part of this space that is important above other, it is the opportunity for skills training.”
At MakerspaceCT, instructors will provide introductory classes on subjects including Arduino Microcontroller, Raspberry Pi, 3D Printing and 3D Scanning. Some have already been offered, even in advance of the formal opening of the facility. CTNext/Innovation Places provided a grant in 2018 that supported scholarships for Connecticut residents to take free maker workshops led by skilled professionals. Already, more than 120 individuals have been thru courses or are scheduled to complete courses this year.
“It is these types of dynamic spaces that allow collaboration and innovation to happen,” said Glendowlyn Thames of CTNext. “We look forward to continuing the partnership we have with MakerspaceCT.”
To Celebrate the Grand Opening, MakerspaceCT will hold a Community Day from 10:30am – 4pm on Saturday, April 13th.
Media Coverage of the Kick-Off Event:
Biggest makerspace in Connecticut to open in Hartford this spring
(Hartford Courant) MakerspaceCT, the 20,000-square-foot manufacturing and innovation lab soon to open in the basement of the historic G. Fox Building downtown, will help Connecticut write the next chapter of its legacy as a home to makers, creators and inventors, organizers said Friday. Read The Article
MakerspaceCT Community Coming to Hartford
(NBC Connecticut) The historic G. Fox building in Hartford is getting new life. It will soon be MakerspaceCT, a place for inventors, manufactures and students—to create and work. “It’s a 20,000-square foot space filled with education, opportunities, equipment and tools,” said Devra Sisitsky, MakerspaceCT founder and executive director. Read The Article
MakerspaceCT Will Soon Foster Innovation in Hartford
(WeHartford) MakerspaceCT recently announced they are in their final kick off stage of their construction phase. Founder of MakerspaceCT, Devra Sisitsky, had a mission to impact lives by enabling access, innovation and education, and now this mission is only weeks away from becoming a reality. Read The Article