Here is what I knew about business start-ups before Friday morning: Nothing. Here is what I know now: This is exciting. After attending a press conference/get-to- know-us event at Winnipeg-based AssentWorks, a project under Ramp Up Manitoba, I walk away feeling that something exciting is happening in Winnipeg.
Here are the basics according to the AssentWorks website (fabricationlab.ca): “Manitoba’s public fabrication workshop and makerspace, AssentWorks is a non-profit workshop dedicated to providing hands-on access to fabrication and prototyping equipment, knowledge, and a community of support for entrepreneurs, inventors, tinkerers, artists, and innovators.”
Yes! This is good. Giving a space in an older downtown building that has been transformed into a low, mid and high-tech facility for sharing and building on ideas opens doors to development and success. We are in an economy on the edge that is going through a transformation to stay afloat. Innovation is important. And, the Federal Government appeared to agree, as Vic Teows was on hand to announce that they have pledged nearly a half a million dollars to this start up through the Western Economic Diversification program.
This is a meeting space filled with all kinds of gadgets and machines, from 3D printers to basic woodworking equipment so that people with ideas can take their ideas and turn them into something tangible. It’s also a place where, if you need a bit of office space, a mailing address or office equipment to use, it is available.
Members pay per month to access the facility which they can do 24 hours a day, as long as they take care of the place and don’t break stuff! They also have marathon meetings, run by Ramp Up, where creative people with ideas can come, pitch what they have on their mind and find other people who they can work with or just give them inspiration or advice.
All around, it seems like a darn good idea. This has been tried successfully in other cities, and now it has come to Winnipeg. So, if you have an idea that you wish to turn into a reality, like some sort of contraption that can make winter end faster or make sure the Jet’s never lose a game, this might be just the place for you.