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November 20, 2012 AT 8:30 am

How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 7 – Launch

Now all the major pieces of your Hackerspace are in place. The paint has (mostly) dried, your toilets flush properly, and you’re pretty sure your new programmable LED strips are installed properly. Now what do you do?

Well… How about a celebration?

A launch party – large and exciting, or private and warm – is a great way to mark the occasion with your community, and set an excellent tone. For Pumping Station: One, the founding members organized a “Geek Prom” party where everyone could let their hair down after a year of hard work.

But that’s just one example: You can do any number of different events that will please your co-hackers, and any guests that join your celebration.

Examples for a Hackerspace launch event:

  • Hackathon
  • Fundraiser
  • Futher buildout
  • Movie screening
  • BBQ – hackers gotta eat
  • Science fair
  • Plus many more….

Each of these events can be a fundraiser for your space if you’d like. At the same time, some Hackerspaces might choose not to have a launch event for various reasons. Like everything with your Hackerspace, it’s an individual thing and the choice is up to you.

Hackerspaces: Made by, and for, all of you

A Hackerspace is created only by the effort and resources that you and your co-hackers put into it. Set out to make your space amazing for you and your community – and it will be. When I set out to build Hackerspaces, I did nothing but dedicate my time to making sure that each space I worked with had the best chance to succeed and grow (while keeping my day job, of course – at the time). I hope you can pour the same optimism into your Hackerspaces’ potential as I did.

Looking onward with this series – there’s a lot more that I’ll be covering in future posts for this How To Start A Hackerspace series on the Adafruit blog. The series is not just about starting Hackerspaces, but will be growing to include details on starting out and making your space a success. Here are a few examples below of upcoming posts:

  • Building community
  • Funding and income
  • Bank stuff, payment processing
  • Formation paperwork and insurance
  • How to setup your Electronics/Textiles/Metal/Wood/Hacker Lounge/Etc areas
  • Safety
  • How to do a floorplan
  • Social media and promotion
  • Challenges, changing roles, mediating conflict

Supplement this guide with the great documentation and wisdom to be found at the Hackerspaces.org Documentation page. Another great resource is the global Hackerspaces mailing list here. Just remember to read through the archives, and see if your questions have already been answered. Just in case you need a bit more inspiration for you and you co-hackers here is a video of me describing PS:One before we had a space and one of Mitch Alman describing “The Hackerspace Movement”.

These posts are Creative Commons. They are made for sharing. Pass them far and wide, and add to them if you wish.

Hackerspaces are made by everyone, and I’ve done my Hackerspace work with many amazing people – this taught me how important feedback and collaboration is for Hackerspaces and Hackerspace culture. Feel free to email me at eric@hackerspaces.org with suggestions, and I’ll do my best to include that information so we can all work toward making Hackerspaces as ubiquitous as public libraries.

Per Ardua Ad Astra

-Eric Michaud
Educator, Founder, Hacker, Security Researcher, Traveler

 

Also check out the intropart 1part 2part 3part 4part 5, and part 6!


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