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The Idea Engine is a 24/7 community to learn, create, and engage. Come play with us.

The Idea Engine is a new non-profit organization in Dallas encouraging open education and innovation. We're creating an community of actively engaged individuals set on radically changing the way we learn, create, and innovate here in Dallas, and beyond. We inspire creativity in three ways:

1. Learn: We encourage thought and learning through a diverse range of courses, workshops, and events. Topics bridge the gaps between art, technology, science, and business, with all the gray matter in between. Our courses are a nominal fee for guests, and free for our members. Come learn about space travel, graphic novels, brewing, video production, sewing, electronics, or computer programming, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless.

2. Create: Our Dallas space is going to be open 24/7 for members, and stocked full of tools and resources to help you develop on what you've learned and bring your ideas to life. Why just learn about space travel when you can actually help us shoot something into space? Or how about turning our walls into a giant piece of art? The journey is ours together.

3. Engage: We already have a community of members eager to share their knowledge and resources with you, who all want to work on ideas and passions. We are part of a larger ecosystem of amazing local organizations who can continue to develop your ideas in a multitude of ways, whether through manufacturing, gallery exhibitions, grant-writing, or entrepreneurial incubators.

We are the cure to the stale, the stifling, the bored, or unadventurous.

We want to share this spirit of open curiosity to Dallas, to create a central hub for all to gather regardless of skill or discipline. We challenge conventions, celebrate the hacker, the maker, the innovator to encourage disruptive creativity. Now we need you to make Idea Engine a reality.

We started teaching courses in various venues around Dallas in the beginning of October to great success. However, we are more than courses, we are a community, and community needs common space to coexist. To make our vision of Idea Engine complete we need to create a safe space for you to come play.

With the funds raised here on Kickstarter, we'll be able to open our physical location for 24/7 member-access and provide daily visitor access. Your support will make our first year possible, and enable Idea Engine to impact how we learn, create, and innovate. Your contribution will make Idea Engine yours.

We've gotten a lot of ideas about what to have in the space, and we love them. Suggestions we've gotten so far include: a stage, pop-up coffee shop, gallery, sewing station, circuitry and electronic soldering, video & photography studio, library, science lab, community garden, 3D printing, play area (giant Jenga), design table (with Wacom tablet), and a shop for woodworking and metal shaping.

With the money raised from Kickstarter, and the space we've selected, we will be able to accommodate these specific areas, and more as we grow the community.

We're selecting a space with the right square footage and layout to accommodate the wide range of projects and events we anticipate. 100% of the funding will go to readying that space for your creative projects. This includes the lease, build-out, utilities, security, tools, and high-speed internet.

Thanks to a generous partnership with School Factory in Milwaukee, WI, Idea Engine is currently a fiscally-sponsored 501(c)(3) organization, meaning all donations (including Kickstarter) are tax-deductible.

Dallas is already thriving with creative energy, technology savvy, and entrepreneurial spirit. There are many great organizations in Dallas that are able to benefit certain niches, whether that be technology, art, science, or business. We are partnering closely with these organizations to support them with the resources they need to continue to flourish, while becoming a central hub in an ecosystem of doers and innovators.

We are going to be located in the historic neighborhood of Deep Ellum, just east of Downtown. Deep Ellum is thriving with a close-knit creative community passionate about reviving the arts and restoring an amazing neighborhood. It's centrally located to many of the major freeways, as well as ample access to public transportation and parking. We have been honored by the excitement and support we've gotten from the many people and organizations who call Deep Ellum their home.

We have some great gifts for our founding members on Kickstarter that we hope you'll enjoy. From t-shirts to personalized pint glasses to discounted memberships and corporate sponsorships, we have something for everyone. For a more detailed view of our incentives, take a look at the tiers to the right.

The designs of the t-shirt and pint glass are subject to change, but here's a sense of what they will look like. 

We've received an overwhelming amount of support from the community: sponsors, advisors, volunteers, and everything in between. We couldn't have gotten this far without them, and we have an incredible team that continues to grow to make sure we can continue to expand at a fast pace. 

Board of Directors

Founder & Executive Director

Thank you, and thanks for making Idea Engine a reality!

Sincerely,

The Idea Engine team

(Photo credits: Medialab_Prado, Mason Pelt, Ben Morrow, and internets_dairy, ryan_chamberlain. Video by Manchu Media.)

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

LOCATION - We've been working hard to find the best space to accommodate all our member's needs, and we've found it! We've found a great space in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas that has the perfect layout, and is central to major freeways, public transit, and ample parking. We've gotten our estimates from contractors and need your help to make this space efficient, beautiful, and ready to open in January.

SUSTAINABILITY - Though the money we are raising with Kickstarter is for our first year of operations, Idea Engine is a self-sustainable organization. We have a detailed plan to ensure sustainability long after the Kickstarter succeeds. Idea Engine runs on membership dues, public courses, events, sponsorships, and research grants.

CURVEBALLS - As with any budding project, there are always challenges we can't foresee. That being said, we have an incredible community of members and supporters that we feel confident we can rely on for creative problem solving to make Idea Engine a reality, and we look forward to having you be a part of it!

FAQ

  • Absolutely! Thanks to School Factory in Milwaukee, WI, we are fiscally-sponsored 501(c)(3), meaning all donations, including Kickstarter, are tax-deductible. All pledges over $250 will receive a receipt from School Factory for tax-purposes.

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  • We have three different membership tiers at Idea Engine. Memberships will be open to the public after the completion of the Kickstarter. Those who get memberships through the Kickstarter will get recognized as the Founding Members.

    $80/month - 24/7 access to our space and tools, free classes and discounts on our workshops.

    $40/month - Student rate, gives free access to our classes and discounts on or workshops, as well as 24/7 access to the space and tools. (Current student ID is required)

    $25/month - Free access to our classes and discounts on our workshops. Does NOT give you open access to our location or tools.

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  • We have likeminded goals as most hackerspaces or makerspaces, however we have a much broader scope. As a member of the Idea Engine, you'll be part of the ecosystem: learning new skills through workshops, tools and space to create projects, and then people to help launch them with all the great resources Dallas and beyond has to offer.

    The projects you work on will launch Kickstarter campaigns of their own, make YouTube videos, get manufactured and funded, and be accessible (along with our learning resources) for the global web community on our Wiki. So, we're more than a community workshop - we are comprehensive.

    There is a great Makerspace in northwest Dallas (near Farmers Branch) and one opening in Fort Worth very soon, and we are eager to collaborate with them on a number of projects.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    10 backers

    Thank you for helping build Idea Engine! Your name will appear as a supporter on the website.

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    20 backers

    Snag one of our nifty t-shirts designed especially for founding members, only available to Kickstarter backers. Your name will appear on the list of supporters on the website.

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    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    21 backers

    3 month all-access membership, t-shirt, and your name on the list of Founding Members on the website.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    2 backers

    Come tour the space and party with us before anyone else with 2 tickets to our Holiday Soiree. 6 month all-access membership to Idea Engine, and your name listed as a Founding Member in the Idea Engine Space. Also includes the t-shirt, and your name listed on the Sponsor page of the website.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    Have a snazzy, personalized, laser-etched pint glass declaring you as a Founding Member for the whole world to see. 6 month all-access membership to Idea Engine, 2 tickets to the Holiday Soiree, your name listed on the wall of Founding Members, as well as the sponsor page on the website, plus a t-shirt.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    BRONZE SPONSOR: 12-month all-access membership to Idea Engine, 2 tickets to the Holiday Soiree, you or your company's name listed on the wall of Sponsors and the Sponsor page on the website. T-shirt and beer glass included.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    1 backer

    SILVER SPONSOR: Lifetime membership to Idea Engine. Rent the space for one event of your choice, and we will help facilitate; whether it be a birthday party, gallery exhibit, company function, or you really want to turn the place into a giant ball pit for the evening. 2 tickets to the Holiday Soiree, you or your company's name listed on the wall of Sponsors and the Sponsor page on the website. T-shirt and pint glass included.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers

    GOLD SPONSOR: Pick your favorite area of our space and we'll dedicate it to you or your company with a big, shiny, sign. All the rewards from the silver sponsor tier, plus our undying affection.

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Funding period

- (30 days)