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Top 10 Things to Know About Fab Lab ICC

by Jim Correll, Director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas

  • We opened October 1, 2014; the first at a Kansas community college

    • The new equipment was purchased with a Kauffman grant and local matching donations

    • In an initial space, formerly Cessna Learning Center, was underutilized

  • Our mission is about improving the self-efficacy of all--people of all ages and all walks of life--that experience our programs and services.

    • This supports the prime tenets of the college mission about academics, cultural enrichment and economic development

  • Our expansion building grand opening was October 1, 2018.

    • Resources for the expansion building came about in two years, starting in March 2016

    • Including $350,000 from the federal Economic Development Administration

    • Individuals and the college

  • At nearly 15,000 sf, we'll be the largest maker space in markets our size, in fact

    • We believe no other market <50,000 has this much maker space, offering

      • Entrepreneurs Bullpen, new co-working space

      • 14’ x 24’ state of the art paint and coatings booth

      • Multi-process welding stations

      • Lighted workbenches

      • Storage lockers for rent for tools and projects

      • Digital Design Studio to house our wide, laser and 3D printers

  • We are open to the public through membership fees; $125 annually for individuals

  • We aspire to be a national leader in combining entrepreneurship with the Fab Lab experience

    • We have tools and services for business growth not available to many small businesses, especially in rural communities

    • We are currently working with six inventors in various stages of going to market

    • Our first success, Tim Voegeli, dba Tubeless Solutions, came to us from Wichita before 3D printed prototypes were available there.

    • Our Women 4 Women program ($82k Kauffman supported) seeks to lower barriers to women getting into full or part time business.

    • Just purchased a van for conversion into mobile Fab Lab

  • We've logged over 20,000 visits since we opened on October 1, 2014

  • We believe that entrepreneurship provides the best hope for prosperity in the new economy

    • We aspire to be a national leader in changing work force training in small rural community colleges to make local industries more competitive

      • We're launching a pilot called "Fab Force" currently

    • We believe every rural community in Kansas should have maker space

      • We host two boot camps per year for community leaders from around Kansas and the United States to show them how we launched

  • We provide Boot and STEM camp services to about 200 youth each the summer

    • Weekly boot camps in collaboration with Greenbush education cooperative

    • 3-week long STEM camp for 100 middle school girls thanks to a nearly $100k grant from the Verizon Foundation, one of just 16 such camps conducted in the US this summer

  • Owned by the college, we strive to operate as a small business, using generated revenue and offer budget relief to the college

    • Other than salaries, space and utilities (substantial support by the college) we generate our own revenue through memberships, material sales and grants for all our supplies, repairs and new equipment purchases

Jim Correll is the director of Fab Lab ICC at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Independence Community College. He can be reached at (620) 252-5349, by email at jcorrell@indycc.edu or Twitter @jimcorrellks.



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2564 Brookside Drive | Independence, KS 67301

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