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2017 - Spring

Event Held: March 2, 2017

Announcements


Makerspace of Cascadia - March 31 to  April 2

The first annual Makerspaces of Cascadia Unconference will bring together the makerspaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, and tool libraries of the Pacific Northwest region. This weekend event will feature a welcome party, lightning talks, open houses, participant-led discussions, and more!


Members Only: If you are able to offer a place for a visiting maker to stay for Fri and Sat night your admission is free. Please contact mcu@makerlabs.com for more info.


Tickets are on sale on EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/makerspaces-of-cascadia-unconference-mcu-tickets-32369580286


Spring Cleaning & Garage Sale - March 25

  1. Now until March 13 - please remove any personal items from the common areas

  2. March 14 - remaining  items in the common areas will be tagged for the garage sale

  3. March 24 - all tagged items will be moved to the loading bay area for our sale

  4. March 25 - garage sale! Members are welcome to bring their items for sale but must be willing to help with the sale and the post-sale clean up.

  5. March 27 - post garage sale clean-up, remaining items to be sorted for recycling and disposal


MakerLabs Birthday - March 31 - 7:30pm to Midnight

We are having a House Party at MakerLabs! This will be a private party with no ticket sales. Please invite your friends and make sure they get on our guest list.  Details on the FB Community Group or email hello@makerlabs.com.




MakerLabs Video

Edward Budiman is making a video about our makers. Stop by the front desk and ask for him or email hello@makerlabs.com for more details.


Rate Change Announcement

In the first half of 2016 rent and operating expenses were approximately $30K per month. With an increase in rent and utilities in the second half of 2016 our costs increased to $40K per month, however MakerLabs did not raise its fee at that time and used its savings to pay the expenses.


The money to pay rent and utilities is generated through membership fees and studio rentals and we must increase our fees  in order to keep MakerLabs open.


Expenses

Jan to Jun, 2016

July 2016 to June 2017

July 2017 forward

Comment

Rent + Operating

$30K/month

$40K/month

$45K/month

These are ideally paid for by membership dues and studio rentals.

Staff

$30K/month

$30K/month

$35K/month

These are ideally paid for by fabrication services that MakerLabs provides.

Tools & Maintenance

$10K/month

$10K/month

$10K/month

These are ideally paid for by any excess revenue generated by membership, studios, and staff.


The new rates will be in effect starting April 1st, 2017 and are as follows:


Membership

- Old Rate: $100 per month

- New Rate: $125 per month


Studio Affiliate Membership

- Old Rate: $50

- New Rate: $75


Studio space

- Old Rate: $2.00 / square foot

- New Rate $2.50 / square foot

We are grateful for the community of makers, artists, and entrepreneurs that have grown from MakerLabs and want to see the space and its members continue to thrive. We hope that you understand the need for this rate increase and will continue to call MakerLabs home.


Q: Are we going to see expedited maintenance, heat  and more tools now that the rates are going up?
A: The rate change will help us meet the monthly bills and keep the lights. While we don’t guarantee tool availability or conditions, we do seek to improve access to tools over time.


Q: Are there grants that we can apply for?
A: We regularly apply for and receive grants which help pay for some tools on a one-off basis. Our need for an additional $10-20K per month is beyond what grants will offer.


Q: What is our tax load?

A: Our tax load is approximately $13K per month ($30-40K/quarter)


Q: $30 per square feet per annum is expensive, can we look at alternative space?

A: We are committed to our lease for the next 5 years. Keep in mind that the membership and studio rates include all utilities including waste, recycling, water, gas, electricity, internet, janitorial, common areas, tools, and mail services.


Q: Can we combine with makerspaces to get a tax break from the government?

A: Many makerspaces are non profit and already receive this benefit, but given that we are a for-profit business, we do not qualify for those

Q&A  with Derek   


a.    Tool Maintenance - So far it has been pretty reactive vs. proactive. Would Makerlabs consider contracting out regular servicing of all the tools? Kind of like a car, it's much better to keep it tuned up than to drive the bag off of it and have major breakdowns.


New Tools and how do we get moving on lathe and some of the other issues in the workshop?


i.    We do not have the budget to provide a full time tool technician, however we have made tool maintenance a priority in our team meetings and are working on a plan for the staff and members to  address tool maintenance together. Solutions in discussion include:

    One morning per week of closure for tool maintenance

    Schedule of maintenance with members shadowing


b.    Lack of General Workspace - There seems to be very little general workspace in the woodshop. If this frustrates me, then it must really be a problem for members without studio space.

i.    The staff will be taking a more proactive approach in keeping the studio clear of clutter.  We will be starting with a spring cleaning and garage sale followed by a new parking ticket system and improved education for new members.


c.    it is COLD in MakerLabs. With everyone running heaters in their studios, we often trip the breakers on the second floor. Can MakerLabs do something about this?

i.    Heaters are fixed, and heat is on during standard operating hours during the winter months.


d.    Bathroom Cleaning - The people who are supposed to clean the bathrooms doesn't actually clean them.

i.    Our Community Managers will monitor and address quality issues.


e.    Leaks on the second floor

i.    MakerLabs is responsible for repairing the building and does not have the budget for roof repairs. In the interim the staff will tarp the sewing machine area, and members will be responsible for taking care of any other leaks.


f.    Drop-In User Fees - We need a new model to be able to charge folks who want to/should pay admission to come to recurring drop-in events - ala Open Science Net regular meetings or demos, drop-in use of the photo darkroom, special guest talks, performances like the Fire gang, special movies . Monthly memberships are too expensive and inappropriate for one timers.

i.    In an effort to keep MakerLabs accessible to the community, guests of members can attend single events at no charge.


g.    Go Pro Mounts - Can we install Go Pro Mounts around the studio?

i.    Go for it.


h.    Volunteering Opportunities – Is it possible to volunteer at MakerLabs in return for discounted fees?

i.    Not at this time. We are discussing different ways to provide volunteer opportunities that do not impact revenue.

i.        Does MakerLabs set goals as a team?

  • Yes we have regular planning sessions and weekly team meetings.

  • While we have minutes documented for our meetings we have chosen not to make them public at this time.  We recognize the need for members to have more details regarding studio operations and will be providing this detail through our newsletter,  trello and calendar systems.

J. Building Improvements

Can we upgrade the heating system? It’s a significant capital expense which we will need to pay for out of pocket, and for which we won’t recoup any costs.

Is there a plan to install lights on the second floor? We have the lights and need to prioritize this work.  We will add it to our list.


Are we going to get the spray booth back? This requires a permit from the city and it is not feasible at this time.


K. Communication
We would like more ability to communicate with each other as a community.

Team  is appearing and disappearing how do we know who works here?

Stuff happens and we don't know why how can we get more of a heads up?


We will be making the following systems public to keep everyone in the loop and it will be up to members to check these resources:

  1. FaceBook Community Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MakerLabsCommunity/

  2. Calendar for flex space use to be posted

  3. Tool Catalogue and Trello system for tool maintenance: https://trello.com/b/7qsQ2Udu/makerlabs-operations


L. Internet upstairs is slow

We have a very good internet plan and will look into optimizing our router configuration.


M. Fabrication

How do fabricators get business? Word-of-mouth

Can we look for more fabrication work? Fabricators are at 100% capacity at this time

Suggestion:  pass on fab jobs to members and have MakerLabs take a cut.

This requires additional administration effort. We would rather just refer the job over completely and we benefit by having continued membership.


N. Parking Lot

We need signs in parking lot for MakerLabs members only as other businesses are parking in our lot. Can we get the car shares out of the parking lot? Members need to move materials in and out.

We will add parking lot signs to the list and include in our planning.


Reminder: Please park the car2go car shares on the street when possible. the MODO van should be parked in the MakerLabs parking lot.

Lightning Talks

  • Kyubu Market - Gloria Kang and Jen Yamasaki want to work with you in their up and coming Kyubu Market. Contact them for more info on how you can have your products featured!

  • Crowdfunding with Kickstarter - Steven Sal Debus the man behind Modrobes and the Jean Hanger is organizing a monthly meetup and product incubator for people interested in crowdfunding their project. Join the meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/Vancouver-Start-up-Meetup/

  • Who were you before MakerLabs? Theunis Snyman asks some important questions to help us reflect on our journey as entrepreneurs and makers. Contact him to learn more about his project and join the conversation.


  • BioAcademy’s How to Grow Almost Anything Scott Pownall introduces us to the the bio-maker, DNA sequencing and the amazing biotechnology that can happen in our own labs. Contact him to learn more about the Open Science Network and the BioAcademy.


  • The World of MakerLabs Fabrication Edward Budiman gives us a glimpse into the world of our Fabrication team, some of the services they provide and the nifty projects they have completed. Find Ed in our FB Community or in the studio.



Thanks for attending.

We expect the next Town Hall to be in June 2017

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