That is a great question. Its a lot easier for an org with edu affiliation to get funding. And as you know, cornell gets a sh-t load of state and fed funding that we dont have access to. That said, we are exploring partnerships. The library seems promising. In line with our mission of public access to tools and info. And there is a lot of excitment around library makerspaces. So we'll see. If you have ideas, share them. When i talk to @Mark_Zifchock about this stuff, he often sighs under his breath and says "i wish abrahm were here."
Fostering the Development of Successful Maker Entrepreneurs:
The City of Ithaca will team with Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland
Community College, Governor Andrew Cuomo and others to launch a new $3.5 million
"Downtown Ithaca Incubator." The Incubator will be used for programming and events that
support entrepreneurship, providing tenant companies with access to work space, mentoring and
resources. The Incubator will include a maker space with a prototyping workshop and access to a
prototyping network of companies and resources. The Downtown Ithaca Incubator will serve as
one node in the new Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, a regional economic development plan
launched by Governor Cuomo to foster high tech entrepreneurship.
Ithaca is currently home to the Ithaca Generator (IG), a grassroots, member-driven maker space
that provides public access to the technological tools and knowledge needed for the 21st century.
IG is a part of Ithaca’s technology ecosystem that includes the new Downtown Incubator for
validating and developing scalable businesses, high end machine-shops such as INCODEMA for
pre-production, and Cornell University for world class research. IG’s place in this ecosystem is
that it offers classes and workshops to the general public in design, science, electronics,
programming, rapid prototyping and more. While several institutions in Ithaca own tools like 3D
Printers and Laser Cutters, IG is the only space in the city providing public access to, and education
on how to use these tools. IG offers an entry to 21st century technologies that may be used to
expand skill sets, boost resumes, or discover new product ideas that can then flow into a business
Since it opened in January of 2013, IG has increased membership from 20 to 50 members; served
over 300 students from a range of economic and cultural backgrounds; crowd-funded $10,000 for
a “Made in USA” Epilog laser cutter; forged partnerships with educational institutions and
business incubators; and supported three high-tech start-ups: BoxyBikes, an electric bike
manufacturer; Physical Sky, a game design company; and Wicked Device, an electronics
manufacturer and maker of Air Quality Egg (recently featured in FastCompany).
While IG’s success is great, this maker space is 18 months into their operation and already reaching the limits of its space and volunteer staff. In order to grow its public offerings, IG is currently