State St.’s MakeHaven the newest ‘co-working’ space



NEW HAVEN — “Co-working” space is on the rise, and New Haven certainly is experiencing a bit of a boomlet in the phenomenon.

The newest to enter the fold downtown is MakeHaven, which is in the process of moving into newly leased two-floor space at 266 State Street.

MakeHaven is sort of industrial-tech cousin of shared office spaces like The Grove and The Bourse. The member-driven organization is a product of hacker ethic (not to be confused with those who break into computer systems; those would be “crackers”). It’s a place where members can come to design, build, modify or take apart and re-build devices of their own invention, or work with other members on theirs.

J.R. Logan is treasurer and one of the organization’s 17 members. MakeHaven will provide shared tools and shop space, which members can use to create and work.

“We’re looking for creativity — inventors, hobbyists, anyone who works with hardware,” he says. “They’ll be building their first prototype, or the first ten prototypes. Then we’ll test it, and break it, and build it again.”

MakeHaven’s members are programmers, designers, woodworkers, machinists and electronic engineers, and most work in various disciplines and institutions in the city, or are themselves entrepreneurs. As is the idea with shared workspaces, members can tap one another for information and share ideas. Logan expects there will be music and art-related projects, but also plenty of work purely “for the joy of inventing.”

The members are still gathering equipment and developing MakeHaven’s business and operational model, but Logan says members will regularly hold workshops, events and community programs at the space.

“We want something where people can share their ideas,” Logan says. “Maybe they create something and turn it into a business from there. We definitely plan to make it remarkable.”

A full membership is $50 a month, and Logan says with enough members, those fees can cover basic operating costs. The organization is currently applying for non-profit status, which would allow it to receive donations.

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