The Hippo


May 24, 2020








A place for entrepreneurs, geeks & makers
Manchester explores makerspace while Nashua space expands

By Ryan Lessard

The maker movement is gaining steam in New Hampshire as Manchester considers establishing its own makerspace — a place where crafty engineer-types can gather and share knowledge and tools to make things — while in Nashua, the state’s first makerspace prepares to expand.

Geek culture
It’s 7 p.m. on a Monday and about 30 people have gathered in a vacant industrial space near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. This 5,000-square-foot rear suite at 1050 Perimeter Road is one of the places Steve Korzyniowsky and a board of six others are considering to set up a new makerspace for the greater Manchester area.
“We’d like to give the city a place for entrepreneurs, geeks, tinkerers and makers of all kinds to congregate and put together those things that you wouldn’t normally be able to do,” Korzyniowsky, the board’s vice president, said.
The space would be available to members who pay a monthly fee and share equipment like 3D printers, milling machines, lathes, laser cutters, welding equipment and more. There would also be opportunities for mentorship and training.
“The only place you would find that is in a makerspace,” Korzyniowsky said.
The Sept. 21 meeting was an informational session for donors and early members and the formal start of the non-profit’s fundraising efforts. Representatives from Nashua’s MakeIt Labs and Portsmouth’s Port City Makerspace were also there to speak to the group about their experiences.
Korzyniowsky says the goal is to raise about $60,000 to secure a space before year’s end. Besides this spot by the airport, which is owned by Brady Sullivan, he’s also looking at a 12,000-square-foot space next to Club Manchvegas on Old Granite Street, which has lower rent but fewer parking options.
So far, there’s already been interest expressed by educators at Hillside Middle School and UNH Manchester to collaborate, Korzyniowsky said. Members of the FIRST Robotics team for Manchester High School West and Goffstown High School were at the meeting because they need space to build their robots. They offered to bring in a CNC machine and other pieces of equipment.
Ian Cook, a member of the Nashua makerspace, spoke during the meeting and shared a few anecdotes of how his membership has been helpful to him, including one in which he was hired to do some aerial photography of a car race with his drone.
“I had a quadcopter. I was messing around with it a week before [the gig] and I crashed it and broke one of the motors,” Cook said. “So, with a week to go and a gig on Friday, I said, ‘Alright, let’s hope that three motors does the job,’ and I made a tricopter.”
Cook says he was able to design and laser cut the body that housed the electronics, make arms in the woodshop, design and 3D-print motor mounts and a swivel for the rear motor and put it all together in about six hours.
“All of the stuff was there to make that happen,” Cook said.
Clint Crosbie, a co-founder of the Port City Makerspace, which opened in 2012, thinks setting up in Manchester could help the local economy.
“I think Manchester is going to be a great city to put it in. I think the tech sector that exists here is going to be a really important driver for that,” Crosbie said.
He says companies like Dyn will have an easier time attracting a talented workforce by pointing to community resources like this.
“By having places like makerspaces, you’re showing the outside world what your community embraces and encourages and what they value,” Crosbie said.
Plus, he says “geek culture” is on a big upswing right now.
Moving MakeIt
While Korzyniowsky is trying to ride the momentum of that upswing, Adam Shrey, the president of MakeIt Labs, is poised to expand very soon. MakeIt Labs is moving a few doors down from its current space at 29 Crown St., thanks to $30,000 raised so far — partly on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo — and the recently announced donation tax credits currently offered by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, which will help Shrey reach the goal of $250,000. The new location at 25 Crown St. will boast an initial 11,500 square feet of space plus a portion of basement space, which is up from 6,000 square feet at the old location.
“We’re in the process of getting stuff set up now,” Shrey said in a phone interview. “We’re shooting for the end of the year ... [to] be completely out of the old one and into the new one.”
Eventually, Shrey hopes to fill out more of the basement and turn the initially unused space on the second floor into a 4,200-square-foot technology-based co-working space, bringing the total used space up to about 20,000 square feet.
MakeIt Labs opened in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 2010 and moved to Nashua nine months later, making it the first makerspace to set up in New Hampshire.
People interested in donating or becoming a member of the Manchester Makerspace can reach Korzyniowsky at 

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