A new collaborative workspace for education, exploration and innovation is coming to downtown Hartford, Connecticut in 2018.

MakerspaceCT, a 501(c)3 non-profit, will emerge as the destination in the state for makers of all stripes. Prospective inventors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students across the region will be empowered with access to tools, technology, resources and learning opportunities.

The planned 20,000+ square-foot facility — Connecticut’s largest makerspace — will be located at the former G. Fox Building at 960 Main Street, Hartford.

MakerspaceCT will be a community resource open to the public offering classes for all types of equipment and tools needed to make or manufacture prototypes, cosplay, hobbies or artistic projects.

Our emphasis is on hardware, prototype creation, CNC machining, electronics, coding, fiber arts, fabrication (both wood and metal), traditional blacksmithing, glass-blowing, ceramics and the arts.

The facility’s easily accessible downtown location and public service mission allow it to become a valuable community resource. The large, well-equipped space will be a focal point for collaboration for businesses and individuals.

“Connecticut has the potential to be a national leader and invest in the next generation of makers. Our manufacturing history can be the foundation for a vibrant, tech-savvy, economy- driving future,” said Devra Sisitsky, Executive Director. “MakerspaceCT will be in the vanguard of that effort, with innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development at the core.”

Nationally, the Maker Movement fuels reinvigorated American manufacturing, making more readily available the tools for designing and building. The American resurgence in do-it-yourself (DIY) activities in recent years includes electronics, robotics, 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, CNC machine, tools, metalworking, wood-working and more traditional arts and crafts. All of which can find a home at MakerspaceCT.

“Making is a vehicle to lift up individuals and communities,” Sisitsky said.

960 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103

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Construction on the space will commence by the end of the year, with a planned opening in the Summer of 2018. However, educational programming will begin downtown well before the official opening. Starting in Winter of 2018, MakerspaceCT will offer free, hands-on educational workshops in disciplines such as Arduino programming, CAD and laser cutting. Scholarships for these courses will be available to all Hartford-area residents.

In the coming weeks, MakerspaceCT will be hiring for an Education Director to administer these programs, as well as a General Shop Manager for the Makerspace facility. More details will be available soon.

“We look forward to supporting this initiative,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support.

Sisitsky added: “Precisely this type of innovation can boost our economy with high-skills, high-wage jobs, and help to revitalize local communities and our state.”

A recent report, developed by the National League of Cities, the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, and Recast City, supports these economic claims. The study finds that artisans and small-scale manufacturers are already generating billions of dollars in the world economy, and could be poised to become an even larger force with proper support.

“The maker economy is, in many cities, an untapped economic development powerhouse,” said Emily Robbins, an economic development associate at the National League of Cities and one of the authors of the report.

MakerspaceCT is slated to include more than a dozen shops on-site, providing access to various equipment, including:

  • Machine shop with Haas TM3P milling center, CNC lathe, and conventional machining equipment with DRO’s
  • Omax 5×10 waterjet cutting machine and software
  • Welding shop with Mig, Tig, Plasma cutting, blacksmithing and casting ovens
  • Wood shop with 5×10 CNC wood router, Saw Stop industrial table saw, panel saw, large planer and jointer, shaper, bandsaws and much more
  • Electronics and robotics shop with comprehensive selection of components and parts in stock, high quality meters and test equipment, PCB board milling machine
  • Digital Fabrication shop, including several commercial 3D printers with different technologies, laser cutters, wide format printers and cutting machines, well equipped computer lab with leading software packages and fiber optic internet connection
  • Metal fabrication shop with sheet metal forming tools, iron worker machine, hydraulic tube bender, notcher, industrial cut-off and band saws, polishing and grinding equipment
  • Plastic injection machine, heater bender, vacuum former, and vacuum bagging machine
  • Fiber Arts industrial sewing equipment, pottery and glass blowing equipment

MakerspaceCT is a program of McEIVR, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

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For more information, contact:
Devra Sisitsky, Executive Director
860.833.5465
devra@makerspacect.com.

HARTFORD AND EAST HARTFORD SELECTED AS AN INNOVATION PLACE

 

HARTFORD AND EAST HARTFORD, CONN (June 7, 2017) – The communities of Hartford and East Hartford, led by The Hartford/East Hartford Innovation Places Planning Team, have been selected as an Innovation Place, announced yesterday afternoon by the CTNext Board of Directors.  The Hartford/East Hartford Initiative will receive up to $2 million in Implementation Grant funds in fiscal year 2018 to begin implementing the team’s vision for making Hartford and East Hartford a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and business growth.

 

The selection of The Hartford/East Hartford Initiative concludes a process that began last summer and culminated last month with a site visit and pitch.

 

“With a strong presence in the insurance, healthcare and aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries, Hartford/East Hartford is already one of the State’s – and the region’s – strongest economic center points,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext.  “As a designated Innovation Place, we are excited to see the impressive leadership team bring together its existing resources and assets, many of which have been underutilized to this point, and take the Hartford/East Hartford communities to the next level.”

 

Innovation Places is a CTNext-run program created to help the state’s communities become centers for entrepreneurship and innovation, magnets for talent, and launching points for growth-stage companies.  The program will distribute $6.9 million in fiscal year 2018 to selected Innovation Places communities to support implementation of their strategic plans.

 

Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford), who was instrumental in designing a comprehensive law to help Connecticut embrace the innovation economy, joined other leaders in applauding the decision by CTNext to invest in the Hartford area.

 

“I’d like to congratulate the core team that made this happen, in particular Michelle Cote of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,” Sen. Fonfara said.

 

“I am incredibly grateful to the dozens of entrepreneurs, education and business leaders, and city staff who developed a powerful vision for Hartford and East Hartford as a hub of innovation,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.  “Our proposal focused on Greater Hartford’s strengths in the insurance, aerospace, and medical technology fields, and this is exactly the kind of effort that will change the game for our region and for the state.  The entire Hartford-East Hartford Innovation Places team should be proud of their winning proposal, and I look forward to working together, in partnership with CTNext, to make the Greater Hartford region a truly vibrant ecosystem of innovation.”

 

“We are very excited to partner with Hartford on this regional initiative which will further strengthen our communities as a hub for innovation and growth,” said East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc.  “Together our communities provide many benefits to innovators and entrepreneurs looking for a central location at the crossroads of New England with easy access to collaborative partnerships with first class universities, other pioneering businesses, and established manufacturing and research centers of excellence.”

 

“It has been remarkable for me to watch our community come together in service of creating the right conditions for entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive, and attract top talent to our community,” said Michelle Cote, Managing Director of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UConn.  “We have received commitments and investments from both Hartford and East Hartford, as well as the community’s anchor companies, educational institutions, and civic organizations. The strength of our strategy comes from cooperation, coordination, and collaboration in pursuit of a shared goal.”

 

A summary of The Hartford/E. Hartford Initiative’s proposal and application is available on the CTNext website at http://ctnext.com/innovation-places/For more information, please contact Michelle Cote, at michelle.cote@uconn.edu.

 

The Hartford/East Hartford Innovation Places Planning Team includes leaders from the following organizations: UConn, Goodwin College, Trinity College, University of Hartford, Metro Hartford Alliance, Travelers, The Hartford, Phoenix, Hanover Group, CIGNA, XL Catlin, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Hartford Healthcare, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, City of Hartford, Town of East Hartford, reSET, Connecticut Small Business Development Center, Upward Hartford, MakerspaceCT and several entrepreneurs.

 

Each of these community stakeholders will play a role in the execution of the group’s strategy, and in making Hartford and East Hartford visible centers of entrepreneurship and innovation.

 

About CTNext

 

CTNext is Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support.  The goal of the program is to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and to accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development and capital to foster innovation and create jobs for people in Connecticut. CTNext launched in 2012 and has more than 1,700 members in its network.  Visit www.ctnext.com for more information.

 

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The headquarters for the Maker Movement in Connecticut. Coming in Winter 2019!

Our future location: 960 Main Street, Hartford, CT.

MakerspaceCT is a program of McEIVR, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

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