Back in August, TechShop Menlo Park, the founding location of the makerspace chain, alerted its members that it was facing an “urgent situation.” The landlord was requiring the workshop to move by October 31st.
Soon TechShop launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise $250,000 to help fund a move to a new location. For weeks the campaign languished under $15,000. This morning it was around $17,000.
Then, suddenly today, a single $250,000 donation rocketed the campaign past its goal. At the same time it was announced that Intel Corporation was TechShop’s newest corporate sponsor.
A joint press release said that the companies now plan to collaborate on a series of workshops giving thousands of TechShop members hands-on access to Intel technology. The workshops will feature Intel’s recently announced Intel Galileo, the first in a line of Arduino-compatible development boards based on Intel architecture.
The TechShop sponsorship is another indication of Intel’s interest in the growing maker movement, a point that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich made when he attended Maker Faire Rome earlier this month to announce the partnership with Arduino.
Although TechShop and Intel officials wouldn’t comment on the sponsorship amount, the two companies said that Intel’s sponsorship “solidifies” TechShop’s plan to move and rebuild its original Menlo Park location, offering a new state-of-the art facility that will also serve as TechShop’s company headquarters. In August TechShop founder Jim Newton estimated that the entire project would cost $2.5 million.
The TechShop chain was founded by Newton, an inventor and robot enthusiast, in October 2006. The company now has six locations around the U.S., and has announced plans to open three more. The primary revenue driver is memberships, which are $125 a month, but facilities also host classes and rent space to startups.
Today’s happy funding news for TechShop Menlo Park, is in dramatic contrast to the sudden closing of another high-profile makerspace on the other side of the country, 3rd Ward.