Chris Smith


Starting a Makerspace in Greenville, SC

Towards the end of 2012, I was living in Greenville, SC working as a business manager and field engineer for National Instruments.  In order to network with other creatives and have a place to work on fun projects with people, I started pitching the idea of a community technology lab that evolved into the Greenville Makers Group.  

The way we started was:

  1. Talking about the project all the time to people who would listen
  2. Pitching the idea for feedback at a local coworking office
  3. Creating a meetup group, regular email list, and posting on the listing pages for hackerspaces
  4. Reaching out to people who had tried to do this previously and other tech related groups in the area (linux meetups, robotics etc)
  5. Setting a regular meeting time that people could rely on
  6. Eventually voting on officers to split up some of the load and drive growth
    1. Financial person to manage membership dues and expenses
    2. President/Vice President to drive meetings
    3. Social person to drive events and outreach

Within a year we had over 40 people paying monthly dues, a space downtown and had numerous articles written about us and had been featured on the news as well as presented projects at the regional TEDx event.  It was a great experience to bring people together and make something happen and CoWork Greenville was super helpful in getting it off the ground.  Unfortunately after I moved the group has disbanded due to some management and space troubles.