Want to create the next great app, build the next great invention, create furniture or weld a new project? TechShop has opened a location in St. Louis’ Cortext District where you can do just that.
The workshop and fabrication studio chain opened in California nearly 10 years ago and has since expanded to Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, with a Brooklyn location opening soon.
Square, the ubiquitous credit card swipe/POS app and hardware for mobile phones and tablets got its start in a TechShop in California, where St. Louis born co-founder Jim McKelvey built his first prototypes of the swipe device.
“I think it’s fantastic for the St. Louis region because there are certain things that you need equipment to do and there’s a culture of experimentation there,” McKelvey said in a phone interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “TechShop is a big playground for makers.”
Each TechShop offers a host of equipment and tools for bourgeoning entrepreneurs and inventors to use including large sanders, glass cuttors, automotive tools, electrical measurement tools, drill presses, table saws, DSLR cameras, 3D printers, plasma cutters, and more.
For access, a membership is required. Dues are $150/monthly and gives you access to all tools and instruction in the building, provided you pass safety and basic use classes for each tool.
TechShop isn’t just for members though. Nonmembers can take advantage of any of their classes for a fee. Classes available include metal working, CAD, woodshop, sewing and more.
No experience is required for TechShop classes and TechShop has even worked to create classes for date nights. Discounts are given to students and active military personal.
It’s safe to say St. Louis’ start up and maker community is excited for TechShop’s opening. The workshop is currently on track to reach its goal of 1,000 St. Louis area members before it even opens.