UL0008 – Venture Capital
March 22, 2012
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Every Encounter is a Learning Experience
March 26, 2012

Business Breakdown: Fabrication Lab

Last week we spoke about MakerBots 3D printers and how it can be brought to your homes so that people can experiment and play with it, coming up with new ideas and innovations along the way. There was a vision I had with this. I envisioned of having an open lab, where people could come in and use the facilities to test and fabricate their ideas. They would be able to use all the machines available, like 3D printers, Laser CNC machines, T-Shirt printing machines for design, or electronic and engineering machines that would assist you in testing electronics, lab benches with tools for you to build and test your ideas.

I guess it comes from the WANT to create, to innovate. I never had an opportunity to play in the labs when I was at school. It was always “Follow the instructions given”. Build this, test that; I actually did not like it very much. As I went through university, I realized that I did not have access to those facilities anymore and I that was when ideas popped into my head to try new things.

So, I see spaces sprouting up in cities, where people can go, have a chat or brainstorm ideas…collaborate on ideas, materializing them into innovations. I see people coming together and sharing ideas, then getting them fabricated on the spot. If I could start working on one of these ideas, instead of keeping them in my head, I would be able to make a lot of progress…and I am sure there are many who feel the same way.

The idea is not new; there are many hackerspaces and workspaces, where people rent desks to work from. But not all have the labs and the machinery to do the testing. What I want to do is to allow for experimentation, allow for testing. People need to try; they need to make that attempt. All we want to do is to make it accessible to all, so that they are able to take the next step to make it.

Then just a few days ago, I came across this article on Springwise.com, it is about a café in Japan that offers customers the opportunity to use their Laser CNC machine and having a coffee while they wait. The use of the machine is simple and affordable 2000 Yen(SG$ 30) for 30 minutes of shared usage, or 5000 Yen(SG$ 76) for single person usage for the same time.

There are people and spaces beginning to sprout up, we are in the right direction.

SO THIS IS A CALL FOR HELP AND COLLABORATION!!!

If you feel that you are in line with this idea, or you know someone who would be keen, then share this post with them, and ask them to come and collaborate.

I will be opening a Brainstorming session on our EntreCity Facebook Page, and another one in the EntreCity Classroom, so do join in and invite others to join in too.

What we need?

–       List of equipment to get

–       Locations to open

–       What and How to charge people? (What Business/Revenue Model should we use)

–       How do we scale this model up?

–       Who can we collaborate with? (Universities, companies, incubators)

–       And anything else you can think off…

This space will be a platform for people to come together and collaborate, create…INNOVATE!!! It is a place where you can come to turn your ideas into something tangible.

So in short, what we have here is a basic idea or vision of what our lab is going to be;

  1. It will be a place for collaboration and sharing
  2. It will house equipment that would help the fabrication and testing of ideas. Materializing them from ideas to innovations.
  3. There will be guidance from technicians and administrations to assist in the usage of the equipment.
  4. We can have sessions to collaborate and brainstorm with the people around.

Lets all get together and figure out how this will work…

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