So, You Want to Start a Makerspace?

We applaud your vision and your indomitable maker spirit!

Here at the CoG, we receive several calls per month from aspirant makerspaces. While we would love to chat with you for hours on end on how to make your project—with your makers, in your city—work—we are unfortunately strapped for time and not always able to do so. In light of our limited time and obligations to our nonprofit, membership, facility and community we thought it might be helpful to compile an FAQ of commonly asked questions about our history and the specifics surrounding our founding. 

Here are some things that we think are important to creating a makerspace community:

An empty space does not a makerspace make. 

We've seen plenty of individuals and investment-minded groups inspired by the old Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come” adage - if they have an empty space and put equipment in it, they have a makerspace. Unfortunately, while space and equipment are extremely important, they are not nearly as important as the strength of your maker community.

Makerspaces, especially nonprofit Makerspaces, require community support. 

What do we mean by community support?

The CoG did not start as a bullet point on an economic development committee’s to-do list. It started as a group of friends who spent time in each other’s garages and basements, sharing tools and knowledge. With the power of social media, this group started searching for other like-minded souls. The group grew, and began holding scheduled meetings at cafes and each other’s workspaces, all with the goal of sharing knowledge on how to make things. Eventually, they realized the benefits to be had if they established an official non-profit club and found a physical space that they could call their own. 

The big takeaway from our founding story is that the community came first, not the building. The building simply enhanced the group and made it stronger. These personal connections are the thread that runs through our entire existence. Several of our members have their own workshops with high-end tools, but they maintain a membership with us because they enjoy spending time with other members, and they wish something like this existed when they first started their making journey. 


There are many types of makerspaces. 

And each of them have different needs and purposes. Schools, universities, libraries, work places, and nonprofits operate differently, have widely differing budget needs, and missions.

If you are looking for equipment recommendations or financial model support, we suggest you reach out to an existing makerspace that has a similar model to the one you are trying to create.


Still need help? 

We can give private tours to those interested in creating their own makerspaces, where we can go into more detail about our operations than on a standard tour. We ask that you provide a modest donation to cover our staff time. 

Interested in more in-depth consultation? We offer an hourly rate to consult on the creation of new makerspaces; we will only consider consulting for organizations outside of the Capital Region (or libraries and universities). Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire.


Resource Links for Makerspaces:

Diana Rendina is a media specialist/teacher librarian at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 school in Tampa, Florida. She created a page to compile and curate some of the best articles, videos, blogs, books and other resources that have helped her create a successful library makerspace.

Nation of Makers is a national nonprofit supporting America’s maker organizations through community building, resource sharing, and advocacy, within the maker movement and beyond.

The Fab Foundation is a US non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that emerged from MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms Fab Lab Program. Our mission is to provide access to the tools, the knowledge and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the world. Community organizations, educational institutions and non-profit concerns are our primary beneficiaries.