Do you remember the stereotype about the inventor that sits alone in his garage tinkering? Not anymore! TechShop is bringing them all together reports CNN Money.
Opened in 2006 in Menlo Park, Calif., it’s a D.I.Y. geek’s paradise, a wonderland of lathes, drill presses, welders, sandblasters, industrial sewing machines, table saws, grinders and everything else you’ve ever dreamed of stuffing into your own garage. Members pay $125 per month (or $1,200 a year) for access to the shop’s machine; day passes go for $25. Training in skills like soldering, sandblasting and chocolate molding are open to anyone for a per-course fee.
Some members use the tools to fix up their kids’ tricycles, build custom furniture or print logos on T-shirts. But more than half of them are chasing projects that, with luck, will go beyond the personal realm. They’re the entrepreneurs.
“TechShop was a perfect place to prototype,” says Buckley, a former research scientist. “I was able to use hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment that I could have never afforded to buy myself.”
Getting a company like DODOcase up and running used to require a lot more time and startup capital. But with cheap access to expensive machines, Buckley was able to create a DODOcase prototype for under $500. The 29-year-old entrepreneur says his company is about to hit $1 million in sales — just five months after its launch.
Photo from TechShop