Makerversity is a tight-knit community of emerging maker businesses that behaves as a ‘shared creative and technical brain,’ says Ursula Davies, group MD. Makerversity, which has campuses in London and Amsterdam, provides members with a co-working space fully equipped with workshops, machines and tools. The driving force behind Makerversity, explains Davies, is to inspire young people to become makers. ‘The world around us is changing massively and it is quite an uncomfortable time for a lot of people. Finding meaning through work is much more important to new generations.’
Makerversity operates as a business, embracing the risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit of its members, who number 250 in London and 35 in the recently opened space in Amsterdam. Members, who are typically aged between 25 and 45, come from diverse backgrounds, from engineering to food. What they have in common, says Davies, is ‘the ability to see something delightful or useful or beautiful that they want to make, and to immediately start making it, experimenting with it and trying to fund it though Kickstarter initiatives.’ Makerversity’s most successful members include London-based startup Mayku, which has developed an affordable desktop vacuum former, powered by a vacuum cleaner, which allows users to create all sorts of objects for pleasure or business.
We Smell The Rain, an Amsterdam design studio, similarly taps into unmet consumer needs with handcrafted greenery that celebrates nature and brings it into city spaces. Makerversity, says Davies, is ‘not about imposing our version of what success looks like on our members. We believe that everyone should feel they are succeeding in their models.’
This sums up the spirit behind maker communities: they are places for amateurs and hobbyists, as well as for young entrepreneurs; they are places where creative thinkers can learn from each other; and they are places where everybody is empowered to try out new things – and learn from the odd fail.