Business Plan - Last revised 07/2020
What is a makerspace? A makerspace is a community-operated workspace where people with similar interests can come together and collaborate. There is a focus on technology, machining, art, and computer science. Rather than following a set curriculum, the makerspace’s membership will indicate where the primary focus of equipment and education will be. TheLab.ms is a 100% volunteer-run, non-profit makerspace.
A. The Maker Movement – TheLab.ms is a makerspace: a community of people driven to self-educate and create. The Maker Movement is defined by people who wish to be independent innovators. While many may have in-home laboratories, workshops or studios, the ability to collaborate with other makers is invaluable. Similarly, a makerspace not only pools group knowledge, but it also combines the power of many to procure resources that may be financially unreachable for an individual.
i. Equipment and Foundations TheLab.ms currently hosts
- Technology – 3D printers, laser cutter, video game development
- Science – Arduino programming, Raspberry Pi programming
- Art – sewing, ceramics, glass fusing, woodworking
- Culture – Participating in local art festivals, conventions, and local school fairs.
This list is not all-inclusive!
B. Teaching – TheLab.ms recognizes that frequently the best way to learn is to teach. In addition to providing the resources for makers in the community to produce and innovate, it also welcomes makers to share their own knowledge with others. With the exception of supply fees, classes at TheLab.ms are free of charge. This encourages people to explore topics they might not normally have had means to investigate previously.
C. Community Outreach – Welcoming people from all walks of life to make and teach, TheLab.ms broadcasts its lessons online whenever possible through free-to-access streaming platforms. In addition, we have participated in several art festivals and conventions, appealing to participating makers by offering demonstrations of our equipment and knowledge, as well as several of our educational series introducing people to 3D printing and laser cutting.
A. Physical Size – TheLab.ms is seeking a space approximately 4,000 square feet.
B. Divisions – The 4,000 sqft space shall include:
- lobby/entrance area
- large classroom for presentation classes
- meeting room for smaller presentations
- smaller collaboration rooms (2-3)
- lounge area/kitchenette area
- electronics room/clean room
- lockable room for storage/servers
- “clean” maker area for digital art, laser cutting, sewing
- “dirty” maker area for woodcraft, ceramics, automotive
C. Safety Considerations
i. The safety requirements to operate the tools will be available to all of TheLab.ms’s Membership. These can be located in our Knowledge Base, which houses instructional manuals for equipment, as well as directs members to safety classes needed in order to operate equipment.
ii. Heavy machinery shall be restricted by means of physical or electronic access control, requiring both waiver and educational classes in order to operate.
iii. Areas containing heavy machinery may also be restricted with electronic access control.
A. Types of Equipment at TheLab.ms
i. General Use – Items most people know how to reasonably use: television screen, laptop computer, scissors, etc.
ii. Specific Use – Items available for use, but have a set purpose: Sewing machines, label makers, soldering irons, etc.
iii. Heavy Machinery – Equipment requiring training to use safely: used for machining, woodturning, cutting; power tools.
iv. Technologically Advanced Equipment – Equipment requiring training to understand use: 3D printers, laser & plasma cutters, etc.
v. Appliance-Type – Items with a single purpose that most people know how to reasonably use: refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, etc.
vi. Restricted – Items required for the space to run, but only Leadership may use: access control, servers, etc.
B. Space and Safety Requirements for Equipment
Because the needs for equipment and space may change depending upon current versions or location throughout the space, these will be located with each specific equipment entry within our Wiki.
IV. Monthly Expenses – As of 02/2020 (These numbers represent pre-pandemic averages. To view a complete financial report, click here.)
A. Rent - $1520.41
B. Utilities - $328.09
C. Internet - $76.30
D. Consumables - $517.54
E. Committee Stipends - $100
F. Insurance - $1520.41
G. Maintenance - $291.20
V. Monthly Income – 02/2020 (These numbers represent pre-pandemic averages. To view a complete financial report, click here.)
A. Membership - $2520.00/mo
i. Monthly - $1530/mo
ii. Yearly - $6250/yr
iii. Special Rates - $40/mo
iv. Plankholder Rates - $5000/yr
B. Donations via Usage - $222.50
C. Donations via Fundraising
i. 2019 North Texas Giving Day (9/19/2019) - $304.44
ii. 2020 North Texas Giving Tuesday Now! (5/5/2020) - $77.19
iii. Spirent STEM Fellows Sponsorship - $1000.00
D. Donations via Company Programs - $754.21
i. Amazon Smile
iii. Benevity Community Impact
E. Future Areas of Planned Income
i. Space rental for Members’ projects/equipment
ii. Space rental for meeting rooms/presentation rooms
iii. TheLab.ms-hosted Community Maker Markets
F. Potential Membership Cost Changes
i. Future Plankholder Rates for current members
ii. Increase to reflect larger facilities and resources
iii. Possible alternative rates for first responders and veterans.
A. The Bylaws define TheLab.ms as an entity, as well as general guidelines for governance by its board. These specifics may be found on our website.
B. Board Members as Defined in the ByLaws
ii. Vice President
iv. Floating Board
v. Floating Board
C. Officer Descriptions as Defined in the ByLaws
ii. Chief Technology Officer
iii. Facilities Manager
iv. Fundraising Coordinator
v. Chief Legal Officer
vi. Equipment Manager (Proposed Position, not in ByLaws)
D. Membership Agreements
i. Members are required to adhere to the Membership Agreement, Membership Waiver, and TheLab.ms’s Bylaws.
ii. Members are required to be in good standing with their dues.
iii. Further specifics and definitions can be found in the Binding Agreements section of this document.
E. Area Committees
i. Members have the ability to form official Committees in order to better govern safety, materials, and procedure for specific sections of TheLab.ms.
ii. Committees are headed by an Area Host approved/appointed by the Board.
iii. Specifics for each committee can be found on our Knowledge Base, where committees document their finances and procedure.
Members are required to adhere to the following agreements:
- Rules Stated within the ByLaws
- Membership Agreement
- Supplemental Rules
- Liability Waiver (Opens a copy of our online waiver site.)
- Non-Discrimination Policy
Documentation of member's signed waivers is stored within our Membership database.
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