CoWorkTampa has new neighbor with ‘HackerSpace’

CoWorkTampa, a coworking loft in a converted Tampa cigar factory, has a new neighbor.

Tampa HackerSpace had a soft opening on the ground floor of the same building in early August, and now holds classes and meetings.
Organizers expect their respective memberships to overlap and to benefit one another.

Tampa HackerSpace Founder Bill Shaw also runs Inanimate Reason, an Apollo Beach company providing robotics after-school programs and camps for children.
In March, he founded Inspiration Labs, a nonprofit with a mission to create hacker spaces and provide community education.

Hacker spaces around the country, especially in urban areas, are stand-ins for home workshops, wrote Steven Kurutz of the New York Times.
They are “hives of innovation, real-world communities made possible by the emergence of virtual communities,” Kurutz wrote.

“Our primary goal is to provide a place for people to come and learn and create things,” Shaw said. “We’re looking to attract inventors, craftspeople and people who like to create.”

Tampa HackerSpace will offer printers, laser cutters and sewing machines.

Shaw plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to pay for the equipment, which he would like to have in place within two months.

“The new space will push a lot of exposure for us because it will tap different groups,” said Chris Arnoldi, who founded CoWorkTampa in 2012.