For Immediate Release
August 25, 2020

Dan Falkenstrom (518) 244-3544 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Duncan Crary, (518) 274-2723 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications Due Sept. 8., Program Open to Troy Residents, 18+ with Financial Need


TROY (08/24/2020) - The Tech Valley Center of Gravity is launching a new Maker-in-Residence program with the goal of finding and supporting a gifted maker in Troy who might not be able to afford to use the space otherwise.

“We are reducing the barriers to making,” said Dan Falkenstrom, facilities and incubator director at Tech Valley Center of Gravity (TVCOG). “Compared to other maker spaces our memberships are often less expensive, but $100 per month is still expensive for a lot of people.”

The first residency is offered to Troy residents only, age 18 or older, whose taxable income in the last year was $39,526 or less.

The program will give a Troy-based maker the chance to pursue a project of their choice at TVCOG with dedicated space and resources, including a complimentary “Super Maker Membership,” a storage space, free access to the prototyping center equipment, and a stipend of $500.

“A maker is someone who creates something that wasn't there before,” Falkenstrom said. “Typically ‘maker spaces’ and ‘hacker spaces’ are thought of as places where electronics projects are done or robotics are made, but it's really much more than that — woodworking, metalworking, machining, welding, game development, writing, software design, all these things, where something is made with imagination.”

Occupying two levels of the historic Quackenbush building in downtown Troy, the TVCOG members' area is fully equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, communal computers with specialized CAD software, and equipment for welding, woodworking and machining. A Prototyping Center includes professional-grade machines.

“We want someone who has a great idea, but doesn’t have the tools or the space to pull it off,” Falkenstrom said. “The ideal candidate will have a track record of building things and will have a project in-mind that can show off what can be done with all the tools we have here.”

Proposals will be evaluated based on the project’s purpose, aesthetics, whether it demonstrates divergent thinking, its community engagement — whether it attempts to solve a community problem or engages the community in some way — and how it will make use of TVCOG’s various equipment and work zones.

Information about the residency and the online application can be found at:

Applications are due by 5pm on Sept. 8, with the residency expected to begin in October or November. COVID-19 protocols are currently in place at TVCOG and may change by the start of the program.

Some particulars of the residency will depend on the scope of the project proposed. Falkenstrom said the program will last between three to six months and will include some public component, to-be-determined, such as a presentation or a workshop led by the resident. Mentoring will be available from staff and from the more than 200 members.

The Maker-in-Residence will own all intellectual property associated with their project or anything else they personally create at TVOCG.

In the future, Falkenstrom said the residency program may be opened to those who live outside of Troy and those without prior experience making things.

“The primary reason why we’re focusing on a Troy resident right now is that we want to help our immediate neighbors,” he said. “If this is a success, maybe we can open it in the future.

The Maker-in-Residence program is funded by TVCOG’s Community Access Fund which supports mission-critical initiatives related to access, equity, education, and volunteership. The Community Access Fund is made possible by grant funders, corporate sponsors, and individual donors.

TVCOG Executive Director Cheryl Kennedy said the infusion of grant funding to the Community Access Fund also allows those who may need temporary financial assistance to become members.

“We’ve been able to redouble our efforts and expand our programs to not only kickstart the Maker-in-Residence program, but to assist current and new members who may have been financially impacted by COVID-19 to continue using the facility, as well as build out new partnerships,” Kennedy said.

To donate to the Fund, visit:



Tech Valley Center of Gravity (TVCoG) is a makerspace, prototyping center, manufacturing incubator, STEAM-education center and creative community located in the heart of downtown Troy, New York. A member-supported 501(c)(3) community resource organization, the Center of Gravity serves members from Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties by providing low-cost access to equipment, tools, technology and space, as well as business expertise, education and resources.

The Manufacturing Incubator at TVCoG provides expert coaching and incubation across industries, advisory services and support for product-related startups. For members launching entrepreneurial ventures, we offer resources for product development through the Prototyping Center, with its advanced manufacturing equipment and flexible workspace.


For information, visit:, call (518) 244-3544 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.