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Visiting the ATX Hackerspace

I decided to visit austin, TX on my most recent vacation. While i was there i decided to drop in on the ATX hackerspace. The hackerspace is just over a year old but already has a large community. The space is located in an office park which makes it almost hidden if it weren't for the wicked bat logo

As i came into the space, they were holding their weekly meeting, Once the meeting was over the crowd of about 30 people broke into a cacophony of geeky projects. A few people bent over a mysterious box trying to determine it's purpose. Another used the industrial sewing machine to create professional looking leatherwork. There were many other "newbies" to the space, who were given the low down by the night's host, Martin.

The space is impressive given they have been at the current location for only 2 months. It has a lot of potential to be a powerhouse of awesome projects. What is interesting, is that the hackerspace (unlike most) is a for profit. That means it can bring in money and make money. This means if they want to build kits and sell them to benefit the space, its perfectly fine under the law. I work a lot with non-profit entities so its interesting to see this model

I must say though, ATX hackerspace has one of the coolest logos i've seen.

Thanks ATX for your hospitality and showing me around! Hope you enjoyed the stickers!

Go visit! Tuesday nights at 7:30 is the open house time.
1601 Rutherford Ln, Suite A200

Here is a time laspe movie of their mural being painted:


Picture of Visiting the ATX Hackerspace
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ethosrot3 years ago
Whoa! I'm ecstatic to see our Hackerspace in here! Awesome!
Also, this awesome mural was painted by Tesseract Travellers! (http://tesseracttravellers.wordpress.com/)
Honest Question:  Why wouldn't they be able to build kits and sell them if they were a nonprofit?

Loads of nonprofits have charity functions and sell items to make money.  Just look at Goodwill, garden clubs, schools, etc.  It would just depend on how they sourced the materials for the kits and how they were sold.  If they used donated (e.g., old paint) or trashed materials (e.g., pallets) and gave the kits as an incentive to donating $30, they would be in the clear even though Austin ranks pretty darn low for their willingness to donate locally.  There could even be membership dues like with most clubs, and they could apply for grants for providing an educational space for the community.  They could even pay someone to find and apply for grants which is what many nonprofits do even if they do it temporarily.  Grant writing is well-paid work, but there are classes on writing grants here in Austin.

For instance, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a local nonprofit, offers memberships to the public and charges admission into the gardens.  They have two native plant sales each year, and they grow the plants for the sales and hire experienced gardeners.  They have galas which are pretty spendy to attend.  They operate a gift shop.  They sell calendars.  You can get married at the center, but it'll cost you $2000 and you won't be getting any tables or chairs - you'll only get the space for 200 people or less.  They do a lot of things to increase revenue and maintain their gardens, website, outreach programs, buildings, etc.  Just look at their 2008-2009 annual report (page 10).

If an LLC makes more sense than a 501(c)3 for their purposes, then so be it.  I just don't see a whole lot preventing them from being a nonprofit especially considering their mission statement, but then again I'm not an accountant.  I'm just confused.
Kiteman3 years ago
Cool -maybe other travelling Iblers could review hack spaces they find along the way?

Looks like an awesome place... Though edit the title "visting" should be visiting
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