New makerspace coming to Calgary's International Avenue
FUSE 33 founder hopes to grow startup culture in Calgary with space full of equipment
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Danny Eisenberg wants to light the fuse on Calgary’s innovation potential.
The electrical engineer is planning to open a new 9,000 square foot makerspace in Calgary’s southeast called FUSE 33 early this fall.
Think of it as the gym – but instead of working on those triceps, patrons can work on projects, tinker, or perhaps even launch a business.
“We want people to take their craft, take their ideas, and turn them into a job and a career,” said Eisenberg.
They price, he says, will be comparable to monthly gym memberships.
After working in the tech and aerospace industries, and seeing makerspaces south of the border, he wants to provide Calgarians with similar opportunities.
The city already has a number of community-driven makerspaces that are not-for-profit, but Eisenberg and his partners think a business-driven model will work here too.
“What we’re doing is another evolution of what they do,” said Eisenberg. “They tend to be a bit more in the hacker-space kind of realm,” he said.
FUSE 33 will feature a full wood shop, a full metal shop, 3D printing, laser engraving, sewing, electronics, fabric printing, and more.
“You don’t have to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into equipment. You don’t need to find a facility to rent out that you probably can’t afford and has too much space,” he said.
He said the other thing that will set them apart from community-run makerspaces is the ability to change things up on a dime. If a demand emerges for a new piece of equipment, they’ll just get it. They won’t have to wait for a donation or a community vote.
Alison Karim-McSweeny, director of the International Avenue BRZ, said FUSE 33 will play an important part in the revitalization of the greater Forest Lawn area.
“They were given a lot of offers in many other districts throughout Calgary,” she said. “They felt that the best match for them would be our area.”
Karim-McSweeny said the BRZ has partnered with FUSE 33, and will offer joint memberships between their co-work space, and the BRZ’s new Emerge Co-work Innovation Hub. That co-working space offers basic office amenities, plus on-site business counselling.
Eisenberg said he has signed the lease and is working with the BRZ and the city to get the zoning ready for the unique space, since it doesn’t easily fit into the current categories.