Mohawk Hires Makervillage for 3D Design Fifth Grade Challenge

Mohawk Hires Makervillage for 3D Design Fifth Grade Challenge

Mohawk Industries has hired Makervillage to lead design and production of 3D accessories for the Mohawk Group LightLab Design Center. Makervillage will deliver 3D printed lampshades through a unique partnership with Elm Street Elementary and the Berry College Creative Technologies program. Fifth graders at Elm Street will compete to design lampshades for the LightLab employee cafeteria. The LightLab is a 33,000-square-foot facility being constructed in Dalton, Ga and will house about 80 design professionals and other staff for the international corporation starting February 2016. “LightLab is being built to the highest level of sustainability in design through the Living Building Challenge, which emphasizes local vendors and materials among other strict criteria,” said Jackie Dettmar, Mohawk’s vice president of commercial design and product development. “These students are the designers and engineers of the future, and we are excited to partner with them now as students. Mohawk is committed to developing local talent and providing opportunities for professional learning and growth.” The fifth graders are using Tinkercad design software and their in-school Makerbot 3D printers to prototype their lampshades. Mohawk will be presented the best options this month and the selected designs will be enlarged to the desired size by Makervillage. The students with the winning design will be invited to tour the facility during its grand opening. Berry Creative Technology students, Josh Cutter and Chris Whitmire, have led 3D design workshops with the students. In addition, Makervillage led a lamp-making workshop and will supply every fifth grader with a light kit for the creation of their own lamps when they study circuits in the spring. “We are so grateful to...
Layton Roberts: Changing the World Through Entrepreneurship

Layton Roberts: Changing the World Through Entrepreneurship

Makervillage is supported by an assortment of amazing individuals and businesses. Today we feature a glimpse into the life of one of our advisors, and a great local entrepreneur, Layton Roberts. A staffing agency. An art collection. A degree in Molecular and Pathogenic Microbiology. What do the items on this list have in common? Ordinarily nothing, but in this case, Layton Roberts is the shared denominator. A sixth generation Roman and Darlington alum, Layton is currently the owner and visionary for Etowah Employment, a human resources company based in Rome employing thousands of temporary workers in the Southeastern United States. While you might expect a stiff uncultured suit, he is well acquainted with the work of Rembrandt and serves as a classic lesson in not judging a book by its LinkedIn profile. However, this paradox of passions is foundational to the enigma of Layton Roberts. When he discusses his social circle, he mentions tweed jackets, cigar smoke, and politics. When he accounts for his free time, he references the Rome Area Council for the Arts, the National Monuments Foundation, and the Millennium Gate Museum. While you might be mentally painting a picture of a man sitting on a crushed velvet cushion, Layton graduated from the University of Georgia after studying biology, a very concrete and no frills education. As often is true, the multiplicity of life experiences creates multi-faceted individuals, and Layton is a prime example. However, for the sake of brevity and for the scope of this article, the identity of Layton Roberts can be distilled down to one word. Entrepreneur. Outside of the desire to “be your...
Welcome Louie Spivak, Makervillage Intern

Welcome Louie Spivak, Makervillage Intern

Makervillage Inc. is pleased to introduce our intern, Louie Spivak. This soon-to-be Berry grad is passionate about the creative process and it is evident in his design, his writing, and more generally, his life.  He is studying public relations at Berry, with minors in business and psychology. Not one for wasting free time, he’s also a writer for V3 Magazine, a design intern for a financial services company in Atlanta, and now, our first-ever intern. Originally from the small mountain town of Blairsville, Georgia, we are thrilled to have him here with us in Rome for the remainder of his senior year. Even with a May graduation looming, Spivak is not sinking into senioritis. Instead, he continues to exercise his entrepreneurial muscles. With only nine months of design experience, he already has developed a reputation as a witty content creator. He is also pursuing freelance design projects, including logo redesigns and brand development, and dabbling in website development. He does not view the learning curve as an obstacle, but instead as an opportunity for originality. With the end of the year upon us, Louie is exploring the post-college possibilities. He shares, “Although I’m open to anything, the multi-faceted process of brand development really inspires me. It’s writing, art, and problem-solving all wrapped up in one creative experience.” For Spivak, part of the appeal of Makervillage was the community of knowledge we have cultivated. Louie is a go-getter and a life-long learner, and we look forward to his contribution to the maker and entrepreneurial community through his writing and design. Along the way, we hope in turn to facilitate his...
CO.STARTERS program launched in NWGA

CO.STARTERS program launched in NWGA

Makervillage Launches CO.STARTERS Applications Now Being Accepted ROME, Georgia. Dec 3, 2015 – Makervillage will offer CO.STARTERS, a nationally renowned platform that helps communities grow local business. The nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth startups to businesses of all kinds. This program has been adopted by more than fifty entrepreneurial organizations in cities around the country, including Detroit, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Nashville and Chattanooga.  In Northwest Georgia, CO.STARTERS will be implemented and facilitated by Makervillage staff. Participants in the nine-week program will have dinner each week as they work through the curriculum together. Individuals and businesses interested in participation should apply by Dec. 30 at: http://makervillage.org/grow. The participant fee is $300 which represents a discount thanks to grants. Participants will be selected following an interview process, and the program will kick off the week of January 18th.  Makervillage Executive Director Ruth Demeter says, “This program is for anyone with an idea for either a new or expansion of a business. All industries and types of ideas are welcome to apply.”   Makervillage seeks to build a thriving region of innovation across northwest Georgia through the nurturing of creative freelancers and businesses within all industries.  The organization began as an investment by SAI Digital in partnership with 7hills Makerspace members.  Makervillage was incorporated as a nonprofit in August of this year following recognition by the US Small Business Administration as one of twenty national recipients of a $50,000 Accelerator Grant. “We’ve seen great results from our early experiments,” said President and...
Building a Rainforest

Building a Rainforest

It’s a good day to be thinking about rainforests, as flash floods happen in Northwest Georgia, and the rain beats steadily on the roof. The “Rainforest” has been on my mind a lot lately.  I’ve read a great book by that name, written by Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt.   The two men are international experts on entrepreneurship, and their book outlines key elements to creating successful, innovative communities. Community is a key word in the work.  In order to have a thriving entrepreneurial environment, in their words, “The biggest invisible bottleneck in innovation….frequently boils down to the social distance between two vastly different parties.  What we strive for in a Rainforest is a system that yields immense impact, is low-cost, and generates internal sustainability.  The only possible way to achieve these  goals is to build a community of innovators where transaction costs [the emotional and personal “costs” of exchange between individuals of ideas/tasks etc.]  have been reduced through the creation of trust, social norms, connectivity and diversity.”   As part of my job in the new Makervillage nonprofit, I get to work on community.  It’s awesome; I’m totally inspired by the idea and the many partners that have already been involved. I’m very aware, though, that creating great community takes bravery.  It means putting aside, for a moment, your personal issues, or your focus on your own needs, and really listening to others.  It means being willing to stretch yourself to help another person, even if you might never gain something directly from it. It means bravely creating the company or the craft that only you can, and...
Meet High School App Developer Kenslee Akridge

Meet High School App Developer Kenslee Akridge

Warning:You’ll want to put this Rome native’s work in your pocket. In a moment of complete serendipity, Kenslee and his family came to buy a spare desk from the 7hills Makerspace for his use as a budding programmer and app developer. We were thrilled to learn its purpose and immediately got hooked on his “Flappy Bird” knock-off. We love Kenslee’s approach: build up skills by tackling incrementally harder applications, and we can’t wait to see what he’ll create next. Later that very night, we were able to connect Kenslee with our friend, Beth Wardlaw, who asked him to join the Darlington team responding to the Verizon App challenge.  Here’s to serendipity, connections, and the future of Rome. Name: Kenslee Akridge Grade: 10th (Sophomore) School: Model High School Code projects: Flashlight Extreme Free Super Bird Languages: JAVA (for now) What else are you working on: I’m currently working on an app that displays a random fact everyday. Why do you love coding: I love to see what I can do with coding, and it’s overall a fun experience for me.            ...
Makervillage Announces Executive Director

Makervillage Announces Executive Director

Makervillage Inc announces the hire of Ruth Demeter as Executive Director.  She will work to grow the creative economy of Northwest Georgia by nurturing maker-minded businesses and professionals.  She will be responsible for the management and execution of the organizational strategic plan, which includes the administration of the business accelerator program, nurturing strategic community relationships, organizing the calendar of special events and workshops, and assisting with fundraising and sponsor relationships. “Ruth has consulted for and supported the growth of more than 100 organizations over the course of her career. The breadth of her communication, strategy, and operational experience will directly benefit members of our accelerator program as well as artisans and entrepreneurs for years to come,” said Co-Founder Tricia Steele. Makervillage received a $50K SBA Accelerator grant for operational expenses in August. The organization, first incubated within SAI Digital, officially incorporated as a non-profit later that month. “The ability to hire a senior staffer to lead this organization into long term sustainability is a direct result of our SBA grant,” said Steele. Prior to joining Makervillage, Ruth was an active business consultant, including over 20 years of work with individuals, small to medium sized businesses and nonprofits.  Her specialties include coaching, customized training and resource management.  She is also a certified continuing education instructor with several groups, including realtor boards in both the USA and Canada.  In addition to her professional work, she is actively involved in several community groups. “I’m so delighted to be part of this incredible group and philosophy of business development. Fostering a business culture that focuses on creativity and responsiveness will mean great things for the...
Makervillage wins $50K SBA Growth Accelerator grant

Makervillage wins $50K SBA Growth Accelerator grant

We are so honored to announce that Makervillage is one of 88 winners nationwide of the annual Growth Accelerator competition of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award comes with a $50,000 cash prize. Makervillage will match the awarded funds over the next year with memberships, event revenue and sponsorships. We have big plans for the award funds, which we will use to create two jobs to manage programming and events, technical resources, and support fundraising efforts. This will allow us to nurture more entrepreneurs across the region. We believe that artisans and creatives are a kind of manufacturer who will increasingly contribute to our regional economy as the market continues to shift towards handcrafted products, software-driven automation, and web-based distribution channels. Co-founder, Tricia Steele The SBA received more than 400 applications for the award. Submissions were judged by a panel of experts in entrepreneurship and investment. Our community of artisan and creative entrepreneurs is one of two Georgia-based business accelerators to win the award, and the only one outside of Atlanta. Watch our submission video We are grateful to our talented members who helped us create this in less than a week, including: Music composed by Justin Boyd, 7hills Makerspace member Voiceover audio production by Manning Burns, Stereotrash Records Video production by Hillery Sawyer, Speakcheesy & SAI Digital Camerawork by Pablo Stewart-Harris, 7hills Makerspace member   A big thanks the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission and Georgia Tech, whose Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative gave us official support (and a leg up!) in the SBA competition. “Northwest Georgia has already been successful in implementing several of the goals in our...
Maker-in-Residence: Christian Turner

Maker-in-Residence: Christian Turner

Don’t mind me, just doing my job.#CDPAlwaysGetsTheShotPC: Cameron Flaisch Photography Posted by Christian David Turner on Monday, October 12, 2015 Meet Christian David Turner, consumate creator and owner of Christian David Photo. A recent Berry Marketing grad, he can also be found at Swift & Finch or V3 Magazine. We hear he always gets the shot.  Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA Hobbies: Playing racquetball, running, reads a lot of photography blogs, advising up and coming photographers. Android or iOS: iOS. PC or Mac: Mac. Favorite Restaurant in Rome: Yummy Thai Cuisine Best place to spot Christian on any given day: Going on a run in the early Favorite staycation spot: Chattanooga, TN Why Rome? Christian says “It’s not about where Rome is at the moment, I just see where Rome is going — big city feel in a small town.There’s stuff going on, its active, but there’s not the whole hustle-bustle of somewhere like Atlanta or New York. Working at Swift & Finch has shown me how great the community is — your teacher, your boss, your classmate, and a stranger could walk into a place like this coffee shop and it makes the whole town feel connected.” Next Makerspace project: He’s going to start building his in-home photography studio! Best thing about living in Makervillage: He says it’s all about the attitude. “If people want to do something, they follow through. And if they don’t know how to do it, we have a crazy amount of human capital at our disposal. Nothing is impossible — think Willy Wonka but with the maker movement.” Motto: Create every...
Live Art Creation During Block Party

Live Art Creation During Block Party

Our next installment of #UnexpectedCanvas will be created live during Friday’s block party at 516 Broad Street. The wall and sidewalk mural will be a tribute to the Monarch butterfly by artist collective, Sister Cat Studios. Artists include Claremont House owner, Holly McHaggee, and her sisters Sally Hagge-Bailey and Katherine Jenkins, both area art teachers.  Kids of all ages will be able to participate in the creation of the project with paint and sidewalk chalk that will be provided. “Monarchs are increasingly endangered,” said McHaggee, “we would love to help raise awareness of the flowers these important pollinators need to grow and thrive.” When I talked with the building owner, he was very confused as to merits of tackling this project given that the plywood would only be in place for a couple of weeks. IN fact, he was downright skeptical that it would have any value at all, though he was willing to let us waste our time if we wanted.  And that’s when it hit me. The Butterfly Effect in chaos theory says that within some systems a tiny change of initial conditions contributes to much larger effects, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings creating a tornado halfway around the world. Our little chalk and acrylic butterflies will be small, impermanent, and fleeting with the next rain and the refurbished wall, but I think they have the ability to return much greater to our community in the inspiration of a child’s imagination and reminder of what’s possible working together. I believe even these micro art experiences (and maybe even especially these tiny but visible experiences) can inspire others towards...