Creators plan to flourish underground

Petridish co-founder Jason Lindsey is excited about the company's new Makerspace initiative. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Petridish co-founder Jason Lindsey is excited about the company's new Makerspace initiative. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The latest offering from Dunedin's shared business space company is underground.

As such it is not much to look at.

Petridish's latest venture, Makerspace, is a half million dollar punt at helping to get new engineering ideas up and running.

Situated under the current Petridish shared offices, Makerspace has been backed by a $240,000 grant from the Provincial Growth Fund, which will go towards equipment and salaries.

The grant was part of a $1.6million raft of Government investments in engineering and manufacturing initiatives in the city.

Petridish co-founder Jason Lindsey said the company had committed to another $400,000 to turn the concept into a reality.

The company, which rents out shared work spaces on a flexible time basis, had already started work on modifying its Stafford St basement space.

''It will provide a home for dabblers, for engineers and for inventors, to come up with and share ideas in a like-minded environment, but also without huge investment in plant.''

Mr Lindsey believed there was tremendous opportunity for local manufacturers.

''Local manufacturing is far from dead. I believe we are on the cusp of the next boom, which will come on the back of IOT, which allows us to build local communities, creating hubs of innovation.''

He believed the crux of success in that space was accepting failure.

''We need to be willing to fund failure, if you accept that around one in ten businesses succeed then equally we need to be willing to back those businesses, ideas and people that may fail.''

An important part of the Makerspace initiative was providing dedicated supervisory resourcing which could add value across areas such as design programming, he said.

''This is about providing a place for garage inventors, start-ups to bring their ideas to life with the help of a supportive community who have the skills and resources to take those ideas to the next step, potentially on a commercial level.''

He said while Makerspace was about four months from opening, there had already been a high level of interest from very ''interesting'' quarters.

brent.melville@odt.co.nz

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