Two couples are launching southern Indiana’s first open-access maker space. Maker13 in Jeffersonville, which is a collaboration among Brian and Lauren Niehoff and John and Christy Riley, will feature wood and metal shops, 3-D printers, laser technology and embroidery equipment. Brian Niehoff says in addition to offering machinery access for members and hobbyists, he believes Maker13 will be a "springboard or jumping point" for entrepreneurs, small businesses and those interested in advanced manufacturing careers.
Once the space is complete, which is expected to be in May, Niehoff says the day-to-day operations will be handled by Lauren and Christy. He says Lauren has run several businesses and Christy is trained in finance and will be in charge of the business side. Niehoff says both he and John, who are engineers, will continue with their current employers.
Niehoff says the goal of the space is to spur interest and action in manufacturing by giving startups the tools they need for launching their business or projects.
The organization has also released a video for an Indiegogo campaign.
The business was born out of the interest generated from Niehoff and Riley’s MakerMobile, which was added to the Maker13 business in November as a nonprofit method of educational and industry outreach.
Niehoff says, even thought the maker space concept is new to the region, it’s not new throughout the country. What’s different, he says is "we’re wanting to help people get plugged into the manufacturing community, help people start up their small business, but also be that place where artists can come in an use it, too." The operation will not offer degrees or certificates, but will show members that manufacturing is no longer "the old dusty, oily backroom that it used to be." He says they will point interested makers toward more education, training opportunities or trade schools and help demonstrate that a career in the advanced manufacturing could be a lucrative one.
You can connect to more information about Maker13 by clicking here.
Co-founder Brian Niehoff tells Inside INdiana Business the space will take a “three-pronged” approach.