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We run a making and testing lab (like a 'FabLab') called CRE-8. It is a fantastic facility within the Canbury Works coworking space but not fully accessible to all. We want to change that. When fully accessible, CRE-8 can enable anyone to take an idea for a physical product and turn it into reality. Such entrepreneurs we call 'makers'. At CRE-8 our makers can learn how to de-risk and then fund their innovative product ideas in today's challenging environment. Our accessibility project 'Access to Making and Testing' involves doing three important things: 1. We need to make training material more accessible online and offline 2. We need to extend our range of demonstration equipment and adapt equipment, change colour schemes, etc. to help people with certain impairments 3. We need to provide better and more manageable physical access to facilities, use better signs and floor markings, install new hand rails and decorate more appropriately in order to widen access to making.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Three of the biggest reasons why start-ups fail is that (1) the market need was not there (42%) , (2) they ran out of cash (29%) and/or Not the right team (23%). This project introduces entrepreneurs of all ages and abilities to possibility of developing product ideas in a risk-minimised way so that they avoid the common pitfalls that can dash people's hopes and dreams. Being an entrepreneur is stressful and demanding, but our project will help people to set out on the right path. This is not just about unlocking creative potential, but showing people what it entrepreneurship means in the Industry 4.0 environment, i.e. making full use of cyber-physical systems in their designs and how to test them (inspection, physical test and simulations). It is also about how to raise the funds to work through these essential rapid prototyping processes and then go on to manufacturing, marketing and business development.
Steps to get it done:
There is a shortage of STEM skills in general and engineering with entrepreneurship skills being in particularly high demand. Addressing these skills shortages means in part opening up opportunities to a wider audience and physical space and accessible training are factors. This Spacehive crowdfunder improves the infrastructure and technical ecosystem in south west London. Once completed, the project will have seeded further pathways to training and business support uniquely designed to tackle the engineering/technology skills gap and future employment uncertainty induced by the rise of automation.
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