Tech Valley Makers Community
New definitions of success are operating at two non-profit Makerspaces in Troy. Developing certain attitudes and political networks enabled seasoned Makers to open access to tools and workspaces for all. Makerspaces help develop ideas into prototypes by applying collaborative principles of success.
Let’s navigate through this cutting-edge, national topic, and its regional concerns.
The Hudson River Valley high tech development corridor is New York’s answer to California’s Silicon Valley, which also is a cauldron of bleeding edge tech development outside traditional city centers. Silicon Valley is between LA and San Francisco, where Tech Valley is between NYC and Boston. Tech Valley geographically centers on Albany, U.Albany and SUNY Poly, Albany; gravitationally centers on Troy, RPI and TVCOG to the North; extends West to Schenectady, Union College, and GE Global Research Labs; and East to Rensselaer County, Tech Valley Drive, and the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology.
Designer, artist, writer, coder, builder… often all rolled into one. Independent tech developers who work alone, suffering from isolation and limiting access to necessary collaborators, materials and tools, team with other Makers to build on experimental projects in Makerspaces. Sometimes you just need an extra pair of hands. To recognize and support the Maker Movement, “President Obama proclaim[ed] 2014… ‘The Year of the Maker.’”
A physical place for Makers to work, play, and support one another. Makerspaces facilitate collaborating with Maker teams, including Maker mentors, and low cost access to Community tools. Makerspaces are devoted to experimentation, and to teaching procedures – like how to use the 3D printer without starting fires – to accelerate making creative dreams real.
Until recently, there were only a few Makerspaces. In 2013, the New York Times counted “200 or so … across the country. … some of the earliest and most popular … in cities where living spaces tend to be small, real estate is expensive and having a home workshop is a pipe dream.” The Maker Movement exploded in 2014, when, Wired magazine reported, “215,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York.” As of June 2016, according to the White House, Makerspaces from “more than 1,500 different organizations … give every student, every entrepreneur, and every American the opportunity to tinker, design, and bring their ideas to life.”
We have two Makerspaces in downtown Troy. Tech Valley Game Space (TVGS,) specializes in organizing collaborations to make computer games for virtual reality, console, desktop, and mobile platforms. TVGS recently moved to a corner of the building also occupied by our other Makerspace, Tech Valley Center Of Gravity (TVCOG.) “TVGS is a non-profit organization, operating, independently of TVCOG, as a co-working and community space for game developers for over 2 years,” according to TVGS Director, Jamey Stevenson.
Next, an article on TVGS (techvalleygamespace.com/,) featuring challenges Jamey, and co-founder Taro Omiya faced founding this non-profit and operating the Space, and making computer games.