Kickstarter, the White House, and Makerspaces!

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At Kickstarter, we constantly see how Makers are fueling the future – they’re the ones who are taking ideas and putting them into action. Sometimes the end product is something big and crazy, like a Delorean hovercraft, and sometimes it’s a tiny object with a major impact, like the MaKey MaKey.

The White House also knows how important Makers are. President Obama recently announced new efforts to encourage all of us “to be makers of things, not just consumers of things,” and today he’s hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire! We’re really excited to be at the White House today, alongside some amazing Kickstarter creators, in celebration of creativity and innovation. (Did we mention there is a livestream? You can watch it here!)

As part of the Maker initiative, President Obama challenged us to come up with new ways to support makers. We thought, besides the community and funding that they can find on Kickstarter, what else do makers need?

Makers need places to make things! They need to be able to share ideas and collaborate with like-minded people in a supportive, open, and friendly environment that encourages creativity and spurs innovation. As Kickstarter alum David Lang, the creator of the OpenROV underwater robot put it in his book Zero to Maker: “Making, I discovered early on, was about the art of finding other people – seeking out teachers, creating and joining like-minded groups, collaborating with strangers – and co-creating together.”

So in the spirit of creating incredible things, we’re excited to announce a new sub-category devoted to Makerspaces. Kickstarter is a natural place to find support for building a new Makerspace or improving an existing one – you can get feedback from the people who would want to join, and offer membership as a reward. Some great Makerspace projects have already happened on Kickstarter, like the LA Maker Space and MakerKidz in Annapolis, but we know there are more out there.

Plus, some of the coolest projects on Kickstarter have come out of existing Makerspaces, like the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts. Makers at the Artisan's Asylum created the 3Doodler, which raised $2.3 million from 26,457 backers and is now available in the MoMA Design Store, as a tool for other makers to create more new things!

We hope today’s news will be a rallying cry for builders, hackers, developers and makers everywhere, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with President Obama to support a #NationofMakers.

    1. Fábio Ramos on

      My name is Carlos Fábio. I'm 33, and I'm now living in Lisbon (Portual) studying PhD at IUL ( Please, let me do part of it! How can I help you?

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      Melvin Hall on

      Red Oak Makerspace pulled the trigger 2 June 2014 and we are riding the bullet. Startup is awesome with things like #NationOfMakers and now this. Thanks

    3. Randy Ksar on

      very exciting initiative!

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      michael patty on

      how do I go about posting my idea on Kickstarter.
      I have to try to get back into business since Hurricane sandy, and I need small capital to do so.
      this would be a dream co true not only for me but for the shore area of New Jersey

    5. Mike Woelk on

      It may have a Kickstarter but don't bring up K.B. Spangler's "Maker Space" book at the White House ;)

    6. Thomas Rak on

      Bunch of crap. I am a real maker supporting kickstarter projects I consider worthwhile. You involve obama and you lose all credibility.

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      Joni Hamari on

      Thomas Rak, 100% with you! Obama administration is only on board to discover what developers are creating, all about control, not about people

    8. PAUL on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    9. Joseph Francis on

      Great to see the Obama administration and Kickstarter and all others involved helping push the idea that we can all be engineers and it is FUN! We have a serious shortage of programmers, engineers and the like, this helps make that road fun and exciting. In the end many makers will get higher paying jobs as a result being smarter and having more experience - good for all. Anyone that has negs to say about this would be upset at Obama if he cured cancer, just ignore those folks .. this is a positive and wonderful display of support at the highest level. Thank you to all that support this.

    10. Ingo

      Thomas Rak and Joni Hamari, thank you for your brilliant political insight! I'm sure this is the perfect forum for bashing the sitting president instead of talking about promoting the Maker movement. Thanks!

    11. wesley stevenson on

      I've been a maker all my 49 years and never had a (real job). I'm making modular watercraft right here in the good ole USA. Expandacraft is growing and a little more help from the government for us "the backbone of America" R. Reagan. would be nice. How about we start by requiring all imported goods to be manufactured under the same rules that we must abide. It's hard to compete with China when they don't have to be concerned with worker safety, fair pay, environmental impact or pretty much any rule at all.

    12. Raymond Wilson on

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      Bak khadka on

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    14. John Long on

      Obama wants a nation of makers so he can tax them until they leave the country. When will you people stop promoting this presidency. he is not a god just a president

    15. Ryan McDermott on

      Can we use kickstarter to fund tool purchases?

    16. Ryan McDermott on

      Your rules seem to prohibit that:…

      I help run a hackerspace (like a makerspace, but before the word makerspace existed) in Phoenix, and having the ability to fund tool purchases using kickstarter would be really cool.

      Ages ago, we funded our laser cutter on kickstarter, and now it's one of our most popular tools, but my understanding was that the rules changed after that, and that the new rules didn't allow us to do things like that anymore.

      In my opinion, it's really hard to say you're supporting makerspaces, while at the same time having rules that prohibit makerspaces from using your service for the thing they need most: tools.

    17. Michael McGregor on

      @Ryan Hi Ryan, Sorry for the confusion. You can indeed run projects to outfit your Makerspace, or Hackerspace. Creating a place for people to be able to create more things is totally in line with that. Ultimately, if what your project is to make something to share with other people, it should be all good!

    18. Ryan McDermott on

      Okay, Michael! Thanks for the update!

      Was I wrong about this, then? My understanding was that we couldn't use kickstarter to fund tool purchases. We're a non-profit (which is a kind of charity, I suppose?). Perhaps this is where the confusion came from?

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      como participar con una propuesta si en latinoamerica especificamente mi pais equador no se puede accesar a este portal

    20. Michael McGregor on

      @Ryan Nonprofits are definitely not charity! We love non-profits that deal with art, culture, technology, and all sorts of other things. One of the best ways to frame a project around tools, is to think about it as expanding the capabilities of a Maker or Hackerspace.

    21. Kashif M.L. Cameron on

      I have three projects I am currently working on, a gaming application, a website, and a book. All three of these projects will one day fund my ultimate goal of creating a "Makerspace" environment in the greater area of Trenton, New Jersey. Happy to see that KickStart has created a virtual platform that helps an individual like myself, display a presentation that fully explains how to make it all happen. Although, I am currently focused on making a presentation with the hopes that I can raise funds for my website. My mother always said, "Don't put too much food on your plate." Thanks KickStarter & President Obama

    22. ATXinventor on

      Now with my own successful Kickstarter as experience, I am considering the next step. I need community, I can offer skills, experience, tools.
      A shared, collaborative environment especially intended for Makers pursuing for-profit projects is much needed and currently inexistent in Austin, Texas, and probably elsewhere also (we do have several maker coops and for-profits, but none that specifically and actively support and focus on for-profit Makers).
      I am aware of many "long tail" entrepreneurs, some of them already hiring other people, many making a living already of USA-based manufacturing, others still trying, but not yet able to help each other and leverage the power of community toward better success for lack of a suitable social construct.

      Ideas, advice appreciated. A Kickstarter with that goal likely soon :-)

      ATXinventor, from Austin.

    23. Gurjant on

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      Namaku Keren on

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      teguhbejo on

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      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

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