We sometimes review stories of failed startups. Now comes news of TechShop, a chain of membership-based, open-access, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshops and fabrication studios shutting down.
TechShop Trusteed posted on their blog: “As of Nov 15th, 2017, TechShop is closed.This document serves as a brief company history.”
CEO Dan Woods added:
It is with a very sad heart and deep disappointment that I announce that TechShop is shutting down its operations effective November 15 and will file for bankruptcy under Chapter-7. In spite of many months of effort to restructure the company’s debt and raise new capital to fund our recently announced strategic pivot, we have depleted our funds. We are left with no other options.
We are closing all of our ten U.S. locations and small corporate group effective 8 AM November 15. The TechShop Global locations will not be effected as they are all owned by overseas licensees. We will announce dates and times for members to come in a remove their personal materials and projects as soon as we can coordinate with the bankruptcy Trustee.
As dark a moment as this is, I also want to acknowledge the enormous impact TechShop has had on our members and their communities over the past ten years.
I first met our Founder, Jim Newton, when I was at Make: Magazine. We were setting up for our very first Maker Faire in 2006. From his small maker table, Jim spent that entire weekend sharing his vision for an open access community makerspace where anyone could build their dreams. By the end of that year Jim opened the very first TechShop location in Menlo Park. It was a scrappy space filled with used equipment and wildly creative makers. It quickly leveraged the ideas, operational know-how, people, and community to bring TechShop to other cities. The essence of the TechShop vision was to develop a network of makerspaces, members, curriculum, standards, instructors, and learning that would fuel the birth of new technologies, products, jobs, and companies. TechShop has accomplished much of this vision.