One of the highlights of the Startup Canada Tour in Manitoba was most certainly an impromptu tour and meet-up with the residents, community and co-founders of AssentWorks, a non-profit prototyping facility and makerspace founded to provide Manitoba with competitive business capability, increasing innovation across the province.
According to co-founder and Startup Canada Manitoba Patron Michael Legary, “AssentWorks provides an accessible environment in terms of people, equipment and space that supports the creative process as well as personal and business growth. In our space you’ll find people into rapid prototyping and 3D printing, embedded system design, woodworking, metalworking and creative disciplines. Our combined passions create numerous opportunities for collaborative projects to be developed, mentorship and skills transfer to occur and new ideas to be fostered into successful ventures, be it in business or the community.”
The space makes it possible for anyone access over $200,000 worth of equipment for a very low monthly fee. It is like a gym membership, but only with laser cutters and 3D printers instead of treadmills. AssentWorks is now a launching point for numerous small startup businesses in Winnipeg, and having been open only a little more than a year now, is already looking at expanding.
What our Team found to be most inspiring about AssentWorks was not just the energy and culture of mentorship within the space, but also that the vision of the leaders behind the space is to bring together a community who share the vision of building products for market. Both the ambition and track record of the community members of AssentWorks demonstrates their clear desire to not just create new things, but to create things that will have market traction. From snowboard developers and eco-car designers to 3-D printing bloggers and architecture students, AssentWorks enables ides and entrepreneurs.
Just as every any grassroots entrepreneurial community is incomplete without a Startup Drinks, Startup Weekend and Startup Accelerator and Hub, communities should also have MakerSpace co-working spaces like AssentWorks to empower and enable entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life.