Makerspaces, also called hackerspaces or fablabs are do-it-yourself spaces where people can create, invent, and learn in a social environment with the proper equipment. While longtime hubs for the hobbyist, or inventor,  these spaces have also become the birthplace of a variety of socially-good businesses and endeavors.

TechShop, the first, largest, and most popular makerspace with locations nationwide, collaborated with VA’s Center for Innovation (VACI) to provide 2,000 one-year memberships at its locations across the country.  The spaces afford Veterans an opportunity explore their ideas and make their dreams become reality by providing instruction as well as a wide array of equipment, such as milling, forming, cutting, welding, woodworking, electronics, and much more.

Some TechShop members have created new products and businesses. Some members join specifically to turn their concepts into reality. Other members start without a specific concept in mind, but found direction and opportunity while working with the tools, learning new skills and interacting with other members.

Compass Coffee  and its Veteran owners, Michael Haft and Anthony Saurez, took advantage of this partnership.  The two Marine Veterans used TechShop’s cutting-edge  equipment and training to become more competitive in the job market or pursue entrepreneurial goals. Watch their story below.

The video in this article was produced by VA’s Employee Education System video team of Jonathan Badrian, George Dwyer and Estel Dillon.


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Published on Oct. 17, 2015

Estimated reading time is 1.1 min.

Views to date: 116


  1. Wendell N. Stokes October 28, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Dear Sirs,
    I have a marketable idea for cellphones and lack the resources to manifest the idea & knowledge as to where to market the idea.
    I am a 63 year old Navy Vet receiving a Disability Pension and have inquired to companies who help with such but I can’t seem to clear the start up cost. Do you think TechShop could help me, and how do I get involved?

  2. derrial vernett ,Agee October 23, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I need to know how is it going to help me in the future. I am almost 60 years old

  3. Hector E Acosta October 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Great, hope some day in the near future we can get one TechShop here in PUERTO RICO, where their a bunch of Retirees.
    God Bless you guys.

  4. Mike October 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm
  5. Mike October 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    And to find out more about TechShop, VA, you go to????

  6. Eric Guevara October 22, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I am a veteran and a welder by trade interested in being 1 of the 2000 applicant to receive a one year membership to Tech Shop. I am super excited for this opportunity if given the chance. I am interested in becoming a member at the future location in downtown Los Angeles. Thank you

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