Founded in 2006, TechShop’s do-it-yourself workspaces attract makers, innovators and entrepreneurs from all skill levels. Members can use 24/7 a professional workshop and fabrication studio with $1 million in high-quality machines, tools and software. They can access TechShop’s year-round classes, workshops, meet-ups and personalized instruction. With headquarters in San Jose, TechShop has eight locations nationwide. Two international facilities will open in late 2015 and two more domestic locations in 2016.
The maker community, a community of thinkers, boasts a wealth of ideas. Students, employees and retirees possess unique and singular visions that fuel amazing inventions. But without access to the right machines, tools and software, or expensive items like laser cutters, digital metal lathes and injection molders, an untold number of their ideas are abandoned or never make it off the ground.
Lack of, or limited access to, the right tools restricts experimentation, makes prototype-creation expensive and bars entry for many would-be products. The unfortunate result: a world with less invention and fewer entrepreneurs.
TechShop empowers anyone with a great idea by providing top-quality equipment and space to make ideas reality. For $150 a month, TechShop members enjoy unlimited, 24/7 access to our do-it-yourself workspaces. Each TechShop contains $1 million in professional tools, machines and software that span an array of industries and needs.
Aspiring entrepreneurs benefit because they:
Jim Newton created TechShop in 2006 for the same reason so many TechShop members visit month after month: the need for a workspace to create inventions. Before TechShop, Newton competed on the television show, BattleBots and was the well-known Science Advisor on the hit Discovery Channel show, MythBusters.
After MythBusters, Newton pursued his own work, but quickly encountered the high cost of tools, machines and software needed to fulfill his visions. TechShop provided the solution. Buy the tools and share them with others equally committed to pursuing their own ideas and passions. Newton collected signatures at the Maker Faire in the Bay Area to gauge interest and the first TechShop opened a year later.
Equipped with more than $1 million in tools, machines and software, TechShop’s membership-based workshop and fabrication studios also provide related services and sales within more than 16,000 square feet of workspace, flex space and storage.
We use fully integrated and unique, CRM, ERP and RFID-enabled tool and access management systems that enable us to track customer training and usage to ensure member safety and satisfaction.
Our unique business model places TechShop at the intersection of four major market segments, including two new and fast-growing business trends fueled by the Internet and by related technology.
From this key position, we foresee fast-growth to expand TechShop from our existing eight-store, national presence into a global chain.
Maker Movement Market
TechShop’s Place in the Market
Collaborative Economy Market
TechShop’s Place in the Market
TechShop’s Place in the Market
TechShop’s Place in the Market
Our revenue stream comes from two main sources: customers with the memberships and supplies they purchase and partners who provide funding for the benefits we bring to them.
Only Retail Workspace Chain
Although 432 fab labs (digital fabrication workshops) were listed worldwide in January 2015 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and other uncounted workspaces and 3D printing shops also exist, all are single, local enterprises and differ in operation. With eight locales all equipped with the same tools, plus plans for international expansion, TechShop is the only retail chain of workshops in this movement and faces only diffuse but no direct competition.
Projected TechShop Expansion:
Summary: Competitive Advantages
As the leader in the retail, maker workspace, TechShop enjoys several advantages, summarized below:
I invested in TechShop because I believe in the founder’s vision to democratize the Maker and technology movement for anyone with a desire to learn. For me, taking classes and building things at TechShop brings back the joy I had in my 7th grade industrial arts class.
Investor, TechShop, Inc.
When the new San Francisco location was first announced, I was very excited to be getting a TechShp in my city. Investing was an easy decision, because with every visit to TechShop, I could actually experience my investment in action, which is both fulfilling and inspiring. I love knowing that I helped launch a shop that serves as an anchor in the San Francisco Maker culture and is also enabling many people to pursue their dreams.
Lender, TechShop San Francisco
I’ve always wanted to work with shop tools, but when I was a teenager, girls didn’t do that sort of thing. Then at age 70, I found TechShop, and now I am fulfilling this life-long need. I invested in TechShop because it satisfies the Maker passion of all genders and ages, regardless of skill level.
Lender, TechShop Mid-Peninsula
From the first day I walked into TechShop in 2006, I knew they were onto something, and I was eager to get involved in any way I could. TechShop empowers Makers with the resources, information and community network they need to succeed and grow. I’ve developed skills and interests I didn’t know I had! Being able to invest in TechShop and support this cause was a no-brainer.
Lender, TechShop San Jose
We invested in TechShop because we immediately saw its value to small businesses like ours. Access to TechShop equipment and resources has helped revolutionize our manufacturing process. Our product lines have more than doubled, and we are far better able to respond to our customers’ demands for customized products.
Bob & Nani Lavin
Lenders, TechShop Mid-Peninsula
Jim Newton, Chairman & Founder
Mark Hatch, CEO
Mike Hilberman, CFO
Dan Woods, COO and VP of Business Development
Carrie Motamedi, VP of Marketing
Q: Where is TechShop located?
A: We have shops nationwide. See the Locations page for information and directions to all of our TechShop locations.
Q: How long has TechShop been open?
A: TechShop opened on October 1, 2006.
Q: What are TechShop's operating hours?
A: TechShop is open 24/7, except holidays. See the Locations page and select your location for specific information.
Q: Can you show me how to use the tools and equipment?
A: Yes. We offer Safety and Basic Use (SBU) classes to get you up to speed quickly and safely. See our Take Classes page for a list of current classes.
Q: What kinds of classes does TechShop offer?
A: We offer several types of classes: Safety and Basic Use (SBU) classes are designed to provide you with basic safety training on a specific tool or machine. Pathway classes are offered as building blocks to help you meet your project goals. Project classes offer instruction in the specific techniques necessary to complete an in-class project. See the Take Classes page for a complete list of current classes.
Q: Do I have to be a member to take classes?
A: No, most people can take classes at TechShop. For safety reasons, however, some classes have minimum age requirements. Taking a class is a great way for you to pick up new skills and experience first-hand.
Q: What tools and equipment does TechShop provide its members?
A: We provide our members access to milling machines and lathes, laser cutters, sheet metal equipment, welding equipment, an indoor automotive work bay, woodworking equipment – including a 4' x 8' CNC (computer numerically controlled) ShopBot router – plastics working equipment, hand tools, 3D printers, CNC vinyl cutters, industrial sewing machines, design software and more. For a more complete list of tools and equipment, see the Equipment page.
Q: Can I use any tool or machine in the shop?
A: Yes, as soon as you have taken and passed the Safety and Basic Use (SBU) class for that tool or machine, if one is required. Many of the tools and some of the machines at TechShop do not have an SBU requirement. However, for safety reasons, if a machine can injure you or can be damaged through improper use, then you must first take and pass the related SBU.
Q: Can I reserve time on a machine?
A: Yes. With an active TechShop membership, you can reserve time on any machine in advance of your visit by calling the TechShop front desk. See the Locations page for shop-specific phone numbers and information.
Q: How much does a TechShop membership cost?
A: For current membership pricing and offers, see the Membership page. Your TechShop membership is good at all TechShop locations nationwide.
Q: How do I cancel or get a refund for a TechShop membership or class?
A: See the Payments, Refunds and Cancellations page for complete details.
Q: Can my kids work on projects and take classes with me at TechShop?
A: Kids and young adults 12 to 17 years of age can work on projects or take most classes at TechShop under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian if they are included in your membership. (Call and ask about Family Membership offers.) Children under 12 years of age are not permitted to enter the workshop areas at TechShop except during staff guided tours, age-appropriate classes and certain special events. Please see the Family Policies & Guidelines for more information.
Q: Does TechShop carry liability insurance?
A: We have liability insurance and we require members and anyone who takes a class at TechShop to sign a liability release waiver. We also require members to receive safety training on machines and equipment before they can use them. We don't want anyone to be injured. We strive to build a safety-conscious culture at TechShop.
Q: Can I open a TechShop in my area?
A: We are expanding TechShop to other cities as company-owned locations and are not currently offering franchise opportunities. We will announce on our website if we choose to offer franchises in the future.
TechShop was envisioned by two maker- and DIY-movement leaders: Jim Newton, previously on Discovery Channel’s, MythBusters, and Mark Hatch, author of The Maker Movement Manifesto. Together, they create workspaces that enable the “Creative Class” to build their dreams.
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