712 Innovations is a combined makerspace and coworking space in Topeka, KS. The idea for this space came out of two separate groups of entrepreneurs in Topeka. One group wanted to create a coworking space, and another group was really interested in creating a makerspace.
The two groups realized they’d have more of a chance if they merged, and … ta-da! 712 Innovations was formed … with the help of a bunch of local organizations, including the library, a local university, the city, and a couple of non-profits, among others to help work out organizational and start-up funding issues.
712 Innovations is pretty unique, since it’s a combined makerspace and coworking space. The goal is this:
- Creatives in makerspaces have really cool ideas about the stuff they’re making, but have no idea about how to start a business or market what they make.
- Creatives in coworking spaces might not know how to make stuff, but they know how to market and create businesses.
- What if someone brought the two sides together in one shared space?
- If the goal is met, there will be new Topeka-based businesses springing out of 712 Innovations.
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library is a sponsor of 712 Innovations. Here’s what we’re doing:
- We helped plan the space.
- Gina Millsap, our Library’s CEO, is on the board of directors for 712 Innovations.
- We have an embedded librarian working in the space about 12 hours a week. We hope to act as a business librarian for people using the space – answer questions, help with research, maybe eventually help write business plans!
- Daypasses – our customers can check out a 712 Innovations daypass at the library.
Pretty exciting stuff happening in Topeka, KS!