Just ahead of its Menlo Park location's crowdfunded move, TechShop has announced a second (or third, if you want to get technical) space to let your inner maker flag fly. Later this year Arlington, VA's Crystal City neighborhood will see construction begin on the new idea-friendly space near our nation's capitol, with a projected opening of early 2014. It's the latest effort from a partnership between TechShop, DARPA and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation, and could help the state's 837,000 veterans develop usable skills through free job-training programs. We thought TechShop might consider a region with lower rent for its next space, but since Virginia has one of the highest veteran populations in the area, who are we to judge?
TechShop to Begin Construction on D.C. Area Location in Fall 2013
New "maker space" in Arlington's Crystal City neighborhood to be an innovation hub for the region
MENLO PARK, Calif. , October 22, 2013 -- TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) creative workshop and fabrication studio, today announced that construction on a Washington, D.C. area facility will begin later this year. The new location in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Va. is made possible by a continued partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Crystal City location is targeted to open to the public in the first quarter of 2014.
"TechShop energizes local communities and economies because our members have the passion to actually build their dreams, whether they're personal projects or startups. And we're very excited to activate the makers of Crystal City and the larger Washington area," said Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop. "We're pleased to work with our government and development partners who made it possible to bring the tools of innovation to the people around our nation's capital, and especially the programs designed to help men and women who have served in our armed forces."
World-Class Creative Workspace and Prototyping Studio
TechShop members have access to a world-class workshop with machines, tools, training, inspiration and support they need to pursue their passions, develop new skills and launch new businesses. Each location includes:
• More than $1 million worth of machines, tools and equipment
• Hundreds of classes each month for members and non-members
• Friendly, knowledgeable and highly-trained staff
• A community of innovative makers, artists and entrepreneurs
• Group event spaces and workshops
"We're very excited to provide a new home for TechShop in Crystal City", said Mitchell Schear, president of Vornado/Charles E. Smith. "This is the perfect place to inspire TechShop's inventors and creative thinkers." TechShop will be located on Crystal Drive, in the center of Crystal City's Main Street, surrounded by restaurants, shops and scores of creative organizations.
Skills Development Program for Veterans
TechShop has been able to offer veterans free memberships through GE's Get Skills to Work coalition. The Skills Development Program at TechShop is sponsored by GE and VACI to encompass advanced manufacturing, up-skilling and entrepreneurism. More than 1,200 veterans are currently taking advantage of the program, and an additional 1,500 memberships will be made available in 2014. The memberships include professional instruction; hands-on training; access to TechShop's well-appointed workspaces, machines and tools; and a supportive community of product designers, developers and engineers.
Extending TechShop's Reach
In addition to TechShop's 6,000 individual members, corporations are increasingly turning to TechShop as a strategy for inspiring creative thinking, developing new workforce skills and fueling innovation. Universities have also recognized the benefits of the "maker movement" and are partnering with TechShop as an open innovation studio for their faculty, students and alumni. Individual makers and aspiring makers who would like to receive updates on TechShop in the D.C. area and learn more about founding memberships, institutional partnerships and upcoming job opportunities may direct their questions to Arlington@techshop.com.