Makerspace Urges Innovators to GoCreate
12.03.15 · Sonia Greteman
Doers and dreamers from aviation’s earliest days broke free from earth’s pull. And changed lives round the world. We want modern-day tinkers and techies to continue pushing boundaries forward. Inquisitive minds now have a new space in which to play. It’s called GoCreate, a Koch Collaborative.
This two-story, 15,000-foot hands-on exploratorium resides on the Wichita State University Innovation Campus. Think of it as part manufacturing plant, part design studio and part garage workshop. The lab, located in the Experiential Engineering Building, welcomes everyone with an idea, but especially hopes to coax those working to advance flight.
Innovation Finds a Launch Pad
GoCreate offers inventors, artists, engineers and entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds both the room to work and sophisticated tools they might not otherwise have access to. A composites room, electronics lab, wood shop and metal fabrication. Waterjets, laser printers, 3-D printers, saws, air tools, lays, textiles, commercial sewing machines. I dare you to be in this invigorating place and not want to build something.
Staff provides a collaborative, supportive sounding board. And, at times perhaps, even helping hands. Everything has been designed to provide an environment where imagination sparks ideas that collide and catch fire. An entrepreneurship office further completes the circle by helping aspiring inventors to market their ideas.
You check in at the front desk as you would a health club. The industrial-looking space has concrete floors, stainless tables, storage lockers, small private studios and a material crib store to purchase supplies. Hours accommodate people with day jobs or other constraints on their time. It’s open early, late and weekends.
One of the drivers of GoCreate has been John Tomblin, the executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research and vice president for WSU’s Research & Technology Transfer. John has an incredible vision for the space. As he talks about early inventors and aviation pioneers, he advocates similar transformation by leveraging GoCreate. Its potential is limitless and world changing.
Collision. Cross-pollination. Creation.
Our agency served on the team that helped launch the center. Koch named the space and engaged Greteman Group to brand, position, design a web splash page and create a video. We also created a one-of-a-kind giveaway contest that started the creative community buzzing and building. Energizing? I can’t stop talking about it.
What Would You Build?
The unveiling of this large-scale logo mockup on October 30 gave the public its first view of the GoCreate identity. It represents disparate elements coming together in unexpected way. Interlocking to create something original and strong. Three-dimensional logo kits were handed out to see what others could come up with. The results are being shared through the end of the year on Instagram using #GoCreateWSU. Entries will be judged on originality with the winner awarded a six-month GoCreate membership. It will be announced on January 8, 2016.
Liz Koch was on hand to unveil the GoCreate identity and share the project’s vision: bringing people and ideas together to spark innovation and growth. Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation donated funds to help establish the center. The gift provides scholarships and training stipends to qualifying applicants based on financial need, as well as mentoring support through fellowships. It will especially target science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) groups and organizations such as Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas – young people perhaps low on resources but high on motivation and smarts. Other organizations that may assist in providing programs: the Kansas Cosmosphere.
GoCreate opens in 2016. You can learn more at GoCreate.com.
The GoCreate press conference and unveiling made for a great day in the Air Capital.
This column ran in the December 3 issue of Bluesky Business Aviation News.