Gene Sherman noticed something missing in his community – an open access workshop for people to learn hands-on skills like woodworking, robotics and 3-D printing. He encountered plenty of people that wanted and needed these skills and knowledge, but consistently heard that there was a lack of a place to learn and no affordable place to practice them.
He encountered plenty of people that wanted and needed these skills and knowledge, but consistently heard that there was a lack of a place to learn and no affordable place to practice them.
He decided to take matters into his own hands- and put tools into the hands of others. He launched Vocademy, an open-access makerspace for creators of all skill levels. Vocademy offers a wide variety of hands-on classes in a safe, casual environment, with a convenient schedule- encouraging community members to become inventors and innovators.
Within 4 days of launching Gene received an incredible response, bringing in over $40,000 in pledges to open his flagship location.
Throughout the campaign, Vocademy received an incredible response from crowdfunding backers as well as the media. Backers were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn woodworking, robotics, and 3-D printing and showed tremendous support for the rewards crowdfunding campaign. The media praised Vocademy’s forward-thinking approach and use of business crowdfunding to empower the maker community. Vocademy’s successful crowdfund was featured in Inc., Make Magazine, and The Press Enterprise, among others.
In the months following their fundraise, Vocademy has become a dream come true for any maker, inventor, or tinkerer. Vocademy has also seen incredible interest from investors and has plans to open additional makerspaces this fall to meet increasing demand.