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.