NextFab Studio, LLC, d.b.a. NextFab (“NextFab”) will soon expand operations south of Philadelphia and open a makerspace in downtown Wilmington with assistance from a $350,000 Delaware Strategic Fund grant recently approved by the Council on Development Finance.
“Known for our willingness to embrace change and foster growth, Delaware welcomes NextFab’s pioneering business model, bringing with it a focus on entrepreneurship and product development,” Governor Jack Markell said. “The company’s creative approach to making much-needed technological resources and education available, as well as its commitment to reinvigorating American manufacturing, makes NextFab a perfect addition to Wilmington’s downtown Creative District.”
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Evan Malone, NextFab’s mission is to foster personal fulfillment, innovation, and economic development through providing broad-based awareness of, access to, competence with, and commerce enabled by Next-generation digital design and Fabrication technologies and services. Like a gym for exercising your creativity, there are no prerequisites to joining NextFab as a member, and NextFab’s member community includes more than 650 individuals from every conceivable background. NextFab members have direct access to state-of-the-art equipment, software, training, consultants — everything they need to master new tools and techniques, and turn an idea into a product and product into a business. NextFab’s instructors and consultants span an enormous range of disciplines and experience, including engineering, arts, business, and science. NextFab currently operates two facilities in Philadelphia, and plans to open its latest 3,500 square-foot facility in Wilmington’s Creative District in the first half of 2016
“It has been more than a year since Dr. Carrie Gray of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) brought a stakeholder group from Wilmington to visit us in Philadelphia. Since that time, my colleagues and I have made frequent trips to Wilmington, and have been warmly welcomed into the community and inspired by champions of the past, present, and future of the city,” recalled Dr. Malone. “NextFab is honored and humbled that Governor Markell, Director Whaley, and the Council on Development Finance have entrusted to us some of the resources of the taxpayers of Delaware. We look forward to transforming those resources into tools, training, and technology in the hands of the innovators of Wilmington’s creative economy.”
“We are thrilled that NextFab has identified Wilmington’s Creative District as the right location for their expansion,” said Dr. Carrie W. Gray, WRC Managing Director. “NextFab’s makerspace will be the first of its kind in Wilmington and represents an integral next step for the Creative District. Not only will NextFab complement and enhance our existing tech, maker and entrepreneurial community, but it also represents a unique opportunity to create a key intersection between the arts and tech worlds that NextFab fosters so well.”
“We’re excited that NextFab chose to expand here in Delaware,” commented Delaware Economic Development Office Director Bernice Whaley. “In addition to creating jobs, NextFab will directly support our innovative entrepreneurs, as well bolster indirect job growth through its variety of services.”
NextFab Studio, LLC d.b.a. NextFab, is a for-profit social enterprise focused on building diverse collaborative communities empowered by direct access to advanced manufacturing technology, and providing the training, consulting, and startup company incubation services required to turn ideas into products, and products into businesses. NextFab.com
About Creative District Wilmington
Wilmington’s Creative District is a part of a national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. This community revitalization project encompasses the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington Streets and is driven by a strong collaboration from a variety of partners: Chris White Community Development Corporation, Christina Cultural Arts Center, City of Wilmington, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association and Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. The Creative District is generously supported by Bank of America, Delaware Division of the Arts, Delaware State Housing Authority, Delmarva Power, JPMorgan Chase, Longwood Foundation, TD Bank Foundation, United Way of Delaware and WSFS Bank. CreativeDistrictWilm.com
About Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC)
Founded in 1993, WRC is a privately funded, nonpartisan nonprofit organization. WRC’s mission is to invigorate downtown Wilmington through strategies and projects that stimulate the city’s economy and vitality, solidifying it as a center of educational, cultural and social activity and an exciting place to live, work and visit. Some of WRC’s groundbreaking projects include: establishment of the Downtown Wilmington Business Improvement District; rejuvenation of the LOMA neighborhood; creation of the innovative Delaware College of Art and Design; attraction of a world-class cycling competition; and the implementation of a highly successful four-year public art program. Currently, WRC’s core strategic initiative is facilitating the implementation of the vision for Wilmington’s Creative District (CD) as Wilmington’s creative center, focused on innovative production and consumption, where creative entrepreneurs – artists, musicians, designers and tech innovators – and neighborhood residents thrive and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed. BigIdeasWilmington.com
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov.