April 12, 2019

Another innovation hub to launch in downtown Hartford

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin welcomes MakerspaceCT to the Capital City during a press conference in March.

A second innovation lab for manufacturers and entrepreneurs is making its debut this week in downtown Hartford.

MakerspaceCT, a 20,000-square-foot facility in the basement of the historic G. Fox building at 960 Main St., is being unveiled Saturday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and subsequent tour from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will officially open Sunday as the state's largest collaborative workspace, serving as a testing ground and classroom for budding manufacturers, entrepreneurs, designers, students, prospective investors and hobbyists.

MakerspaceCT's weekend commencement will come just days after Stanley Black & Decker rolled out its own downtown innovation hub, Manufactory 4.0, a 23,000-square-foot business accelerator at One Constitution Plaza.

With the final phase of construction completed over the last month, MakerspaceCT now houses more than a dozen shops, including a textile room, an electronics lab, a metal machine room, a woodworking shop, a blacksmithing center, a welding shop and a plastic lab, among other spaces.

Participants will have access to several courses fielded by local colleges and schools, in addition to on-site professionals offering instruction on do-it-yourself (DIY) activities such as 3-D printers, robotics, electronics and laser cutters.

UConn Hartford, Trinity College ,University of Hartford, Capital Community College and Goodwin College are all eyeing MakerspaceCT for future potential use, and the state's venture capital arm, Connecticut Innovations, is funding scholarships for adult skills training at the site.

MakerspaceCT, led by Executive Director and Founder Devra Sisitsky, is part of a growing ecosystem of creator spaces in downtown Hartford.

Business ventures and ideas are already being cultivated at Upward Hartford, the Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator program, Hartford InsurTech Hub, reSET Social Enterprise Trust and at the recently launched incubator program at Hartford insurer Nassau Re.

Another co-working space is also slated to debut this summer at Hartford's CityPlace I office tower.

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