We have seen a number of great initiatives transforming unused buildings and spaces into creative hubs. 3Space recently turned an old bank vault into a community makerspace, and now Betaversity is converting shipping containers into portable prototyping spaces called BetaBoxes.
A BetaBox is a custom prototyping lab, kitted out with 3D printers, laser cutters, scanners and other cutting edge design equipment to encourage and enable entrepreneurial creativity among students. The self-contained makerspaces can currently be found on campuses across North Carolina, where Betaversity was founded. Universities, colleges and businesses are able to rent and customize the labs which can then host classes, events, conferences and community outreach projects. All rentals include the services of Betaversity experts who can assist students with projects and teach workshops.
BetaBox provides a self-contained hub that cultivates a sense of community and creativity – and since all the tools are collected in one place, students don’t need to waste time or lose momentum searching out equipment and booking in lab time. Is this a model that could work for other equipment setups?