For the April 2018 edition of "Entrepreneurs Heart Greater Hartford," we spoke with Steve Yanicke, President of MakeHartford.
Tell us about your business.
MakeHartford is a community supported makerspace in the West End of Hartford. A makerspace is like a gym for creative and technical people but instead of a bench press and free weights we have 3d printers, CNC machines and a work shop full of tools. Some of our members are students or otherwise brand new to working in a shop and others have decades of experience spanning several fields and our desire to create brings us together.
Why did you decide to start your business in Greater Hartford?
I needed a space in Hartford to collaborate with others on a startup I was working on. Hartford didn’t have anything like this at the time and we thought this could be useful to others too. I put together a Meetup to check interest in the community and 60-70 people showed up to the initial meeting.
How does your business impact the community?
MakeHartford offers classes and workspace to assist students, artists, and entrepreneurs to create their dreams. Lower costs for designing and creating new products and services improves the outlook for those companies and improves their chances at success. This creates economic development or at the very least allows people to learn something and empowers them to fix and improve the world around them.
Follow MakeHartford on Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, and Google Voice at 860-578-4338!
What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
What is stopping you from pursuing your dreams? Greater Hartford has a lot of communities and services, like MakeHartford, to help support entrepreneurs who are just getting started. In addition, new tools and services for drop shipping, white labeling, subscription payments, and crowd funding have dramatically lowered the barrier for entry for almost every industry. There has never been a better time to get started. Make a list. Get it done.
What is it like being an entrepreneur in Greater Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?
I like it. Hartford has a pretty tight-knit start up community, and I’m always meeting new people at various meetups, conferences, and other social mixers. As a service provider we are looking to grow and support the community. One challenge that we face is that people are hyper focused on finding the next start up unicorn (valued over 1 billion before their ICO), and potentially overlooking great ideas that could be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Not everything has to be a home run. We could do as well or better with a bunch of singles.
What is your vision for your business venture over the next five years?
MakeHartford will continue to serve the startup and creative community by developing deeper relations with our city’s cultural and educational institutions, partnering on civic and artistic events, and providing an expanded class and meetup listing.
This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that the Greater Hartford Region Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in their communities.