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Business development / Makerspaces

Here’s what we know about the NextFab makerspace coming to Wilmington

NextFab's Alex Kaplan filled us in.

At NextFab's original University City location, January 2010. (Photo by Flickr user will mchale, used under a Creative Commons license)

We don’t have an answer to the million-dollar question — where the facility will be — aside from the fact that we know Philly makerspace NextFab is angling to build its Delaware location in Wilmington’s Creative District.
But Alex Kaplan, one of the NextFab guys spearheading the project, gave the full 411 at Thursday night’s Delaware Tech Meetup at the coIN Loft.
Here are the available deets:

  • The “gym for innovators” will be about 4,500 square feet. (For comparison, NextFab’s main location on Philly’s Washington Avenue is 21,000 square feet.)
  • As they’re keen to work with college students, NextFab would like to open the facility before the fall semester begins, which gives them a six- to eight-month timeline. If they don’t make that deadline, Kaplan said they’ll aim to open by the end of this year.
  • Each location (there are two in Philly) has a “specialty” trade or craft. The one at Philly’s Kensington location, for instance, is jewelry-making. Kaplan said they’re in the process of deciding what the Wilmington location’s specialty will be — so far chemical engineering, robotics and drones have been named possibilities.
  • While there are varying levels of membership (based on how much time you spend there), NextFab also hosts classes that anyone can attend, generally for $20 an hour. Kaplan is actively looking for people who would be interested in teaching a class. The perk? If you teach for four hours, you get a month’s membership. coIN Loft managing director Mona Parikh recently took some classes at NextFab in Philly and made a bookshelf, a bottle opener and a necklace. Kaplan said if you think you have relevant skills, let him know you’re interested in teaching.

Recap: The new NextFab building is gonna be big and hopefully open for business this fall. And be sure to contact Alex Kaplan at alex.kaplan@nextfab.com if you have a suggestion for the location’s specialty craft and/or if you want to teach a class.

Companies: NextFab

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