Back in 2013 three friends got together to discuss the local hacker/maker meetups and spaces about what they liked and what was lacking. These initial conversations between Shawn, Roxy, and Richard lead to the formation of TheLab.ms as a new non-profit organization with a mission to foster collaborations between science, art, culture, and technology. The idea was to bring many groups with different interests all together into a single space where their ideas and interests could intersect and spawn new ideas and interests to the benefit of all involved.
What is the best way to determine the initial leadership structure for a non-profit created by friends? A few rounds of Rock Paper Scissors, of course. That is how the initial officer positions were determined and it worked out well. Throughout 2013 this core group of friends flushed out the initial Bylaws and a business plan and filed with the IRS for non-profit status which was approved in 2014.
For more than a year TheLab.ms was a nomadic entity with no space and meetings at various locations in Plano. During this time, fundraising events and our initial paying members allowed us to raise enough money to open our own space in mid 2015. Without the communities support and our plankholders willingness to start paying for membership in a space that didn’t yet exist TheLab.ms would not have been able to form and grow!
Roxy, Richard, and Shawn – The Founders
The current location at 999 East Arapaho Road
In the Spring of 2020, the covid-19 pandemic hit, and TheLab.ms was looking at the harsh possibility of closing. The lease at the Plano location was up, and there was no consensus on where the next best move was. Serendipity struck and the City of Richardson extended an open hand for TheLab.ms to join the newly formed Richardson IQ District. With the incentive of City support, encouragement from City officials, and financial incentives, TheLab moved from its tucked away location in Plano to directly on East Arapaho Road in Richardson, Texas. With the support of members who had been paying for memberships while TheLab was closed(!) and volunteers who organized the momentous migration, TheLab settled into its new 3000sqft facility where it continues to grow and flourish with the support of area makers, innovators, artists, and tech-industry folk!