Two friends lay out plans for Maker Village in Kansas City

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 12:00 am

Nick Ward-Bopp (left) and Sam Green have plans for a Maker Village Kansas City, Mo.

Two friends want to build a Maker Village for engineers, entrepreneurs and designers to create under the same roof. Nick Ward-Bopp and Sam Green weren't getting satisfaction out of their work, so they decided to take on a tangible project. That ended up being the rehab of a building on the west side of Kansas City in exchange for rent. Called The Jarboe Initiative, it was the start of a larger mission to lower the barrier of entry for local makers.

They made an agreement to revitalize the building while they lived on the property, largely using refurbished and found items. Now, they're looking for a new challenge, and need some help.

"Our next step is raising capital to purchase and rehab a condemned or at-risk historic building in KCMO's urban core, where we plan to open a member-based workshop providing people access to commercial woodworking and metal working equipment and shop space," according to the Maker Village website.

Ward-Bopp envisions collaboration and interaction among those creating physical products and those who can help them in any number of ways that will be beneficial to all parties. There will be workshops and apartments within a single building to form the Village.

"So tech entrepreneurs may be able to rent office space and find a demand for their services necessary for any of our members as they launch a physical product," Ward-Bopp said in an email interview. "I think the possibilities for this are fairly unlimited, and the tech folks will find the gaps that we don't even know exist yet."

To make that happen, the two partners are focused on getting a building locked in by the end of this year. Ward-Bopp and Green have raised $40,000 in support of the project since mid-2012 by "being crafty and resourceful."


Credits: Photo from Maker Village website.

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