Almost two years to the day of receiving federal funding support, Carroll Tomorrow is finally opening the Tinker’s Box, an innovation maker space, serving West Georgia.
The Tinker’s Box held a grand opening on September 26 with local, state and federal dignitaries in attendance, including Scott Hamilton, the Washington DC-based Appalachian Regional Commission executive director. ARC provided a $250,000 grant for the project matched dollar-for-dollar by the Carroll County Development Authority. “We are thrilled to invest in your community to build a return on that investment,” stated Hamilton.
Carroll Tomorrow CEO Daniel Jackson thanked ARC for being a continued partner to Carroll County for many years, “Appalachian Regional Commission has been a vital supporter ever since that first grant in 2004 creating The Burson Center,” shared Jackson.
The Tinker’s Box includes over 2,500 square feet of laboratory space. Local contractor Titus Construction completed the construction based on a design by Alan Bell Architects. Many local subcontractors and vendors were instrumental in the project development.
The maker space is designed to be a feeder program for the successful incubator, The Burson Center. The Burson Center has been operational for 12 years with over 130 graduate startups. The Tinker’s Box goal is to allow area inventors, ‘garage tinkers’ and small businesses to conduct product development from concept to prototype with the possibility of then incubating toward full commercialization.
“This half million dollar project has the potential for providing a major positive impact on entrepreneurship in this region,” stated Tim Warren, development authority chairman, “our development authority is about creating jobs and this ‘idea room’ ignites innovation and innovation attracts entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs create jobs.”
The Tinker’s Box will focus on technological innovation such as computer programming, coding, digital design, materials science, electronics, and robotics. Once completely outfitted, equipment will include 3-D printers, laser engravers and cutters, metal and wood fabrication tools, a media design lab, and industrial sewing machines.
The Tinker’s Box is already being utilized by college STEM students via a partnership with the University of West Georgia’s College of Science and Math. For more information, visit www.bursoncenter.com/tinkersbox or contact Lauren Holverson at 678-890-2340.