Maker Spaces in St. Louis
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St. Louis’s maker ecosystem is a hidden gem that spans the entire city. Driven by a highly engaged community, the makerspaces that support them are on a mission to democratize access to the tools of innovation.
Like coworking spaces, maker spaces are shared workspaces but with a huge difference: literally tons of epic machines. Going above and beyond on simply providing a desk, a postbox, and other administration facilities (as their co-working cousins do), a makerspace will have invested absolutely everything into getting you all of the expensive equipment you might need to build your product from scratch.
Think of a maker space like a gym for your brain. Whether you want to 3D print all your home deco, host a talk show, create a new fashion line for the next catwalk season, or capitalize on your grandma’s secret recipe and become mayor of an Uber Eats empire, there’s a shared space in St. Louis kitted out with top of the line tech to fit your needs.
St. Louis Public Library Creative Experience
Creative Experience is a digital makerspace for independent and collaborative media creation. Anyone with a St. Louis Public Library card can walk in or make a reservation. They offer features four Pods and a Recording Room equipped with microphones, keyboards, and all the software and hardware you need for digital creative projects. Creative Experience will appeal to pros and novices alike. Users who know exactly what they are doing will find the required tools. Those without previous knowledge can walk in, view online tutorials, and learn how to fulfill their vision.
Arch Reactor is a hackerspace and maker movement for techies, programmers, hobbyists and artists to share resources and knowledge. Members join together in the exciting creative work of repurposing and modifying commercial products into something new. Partnering with the St. Louis Science Center, Arch Reactor’s community of makers sparks interest in STEM careers by demonstrating how the creative process and scientific process can be one and the same.
Brick City Makes
A small-batch manufacturing incubator in the Fox Park neighborhood. Brick City Makes offers a one-of-a-kind concept: two acres, under roof, in the city of St. Louis, that is completely dedicated to helping manufacturers succeed. It’s both space and support services for small to mid-sized companies.
St. Louis Makes, a local manufacturing trade group, offers training programs in business and design along with networking events.
Conflux Co-Learning is a co-learning space for manufacturers and distributors to help ensure makers, “the pillars of our society and our economy” as Conflux calls them continue to survive and thrive. Conflux Co-Learning provides innovation space, learning content, and more to support the growth of companies in the industrial sector.
Central West End
OC @ CWE
For inventors, influencers and people who like to collate, recommend, and sell products, the OC @ CWE is a “pop-up shop” space in St. Louis’ vibrant Central West End neighborhood. They offer Everything you want from a boutique store, from shelf to display space. It’s a unique boutique event space that is ideal for creating pop-up shop events that test out your creative business idea in a retail environment.
The St. Louis restaurant scene frequently makes the nation’s “Ten Best” rankings in major newspapers like USA Today. Foodpreneurs will find the region to be incredibly supportive of their food startups as St. Louis is home to top chefs such as Gerard Craft, food-chain investors like Michael Staenberg (Lion’s Choice), and publications such as Feast, Sauce and St. Louis Magazine.
Food trucks can thrive from increasing inner-city green spaces, such as Cortex Commons, as a result of the pedestrianization of innovation districts. Now with shared kitchen spaces such as STL Foodworks and a thriving gig economy to handle deliveries, St. Louis food startup ecosystem is set to expand with “ghost kitchens” and “virtual restaurants.”
Delmar Maker District
A linchpin of the maker community is Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, who legend has it, developed the first prototype to Square in a community workshop. His story is proof that tinkering is not a hobby reserved for a garden shed, but an active process of analysis that can lead to wildly successful outcomes.
Founded by McKelvey, MADE is a community-based workshop and prototyping studio on a mission to democratize access to the tools of innovation. Packed with cutting-edge equipment and machinery, including computers loaded with design software featuring the Autodesk Design Suite, MADE offers not only a space to make, but the support and camaraderie of a community of makers.
St. Louis County
Inventor Forge is a membership-based shared space where hobbyists, professionals, novices, and all of those in-between can come to imagine and create both individually and together. From woodworking to laser cutting, programming electronics to 3D-Printing, Inventor Forge gives you the ability to access the machines, tools, and knowledge you need to allow your inner creator to come out and play.
When founders Josh Levey and Brian Lunt combined forces—and their shared knowledge of investing, banking, and media production—they created a unique coworking space in Overland called Medici MediaSpace. The goal was to create a space not just for startups, but for any business looking for a community to strategize, learn from, and grow with. What really makes it stand out is their decked out media studio. Concierge services help solve your business’ weak points, plus a full media studio for audio, video, and more.
We The People
Okay, this isn’t really a makerspace or a coworking space, but actually, a co-shopping space, if you will. Ideal for innovators, inventors, and people who like to buy cool things, We The People was started in Singapore in 2016 with the goal to become the first retail chain selling crowdfunded products. They started with 14 brands and have expanded to over 160, making it well worth the visit to find something neat to be inspired by.
News Stories From Makerspaces in STL
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- Meet the 6 Startups Hosting UMSL’s First-ever DEI Accelerator Demo Day
- St. Louis 3D printing startup finds idea that sticks
- 6 Startups Win $50K and Join UMSL Accelerate’s First Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Cohort
- $950K in Grants Awarded to Growing Companies in St. Louis
- Meet the WEPOWER 2020 Elevate/Elevar Accelerator Cohort
List of every Maker Space in St. Louis
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