ROME, Ga., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SAI Digital and 7hills Makerspace have partnered together to launch the world's first Makervillage in Rome, Georgia. The first of its kind, Makervillage is a member-owned initiative that encourages innovation, invention, and the expansion of tech-based businesses by providing advanced infrastructure, access to funding, and startup-friendly rent packages.
Makervillage was formally announced today at Confluence, a two-day innovation event held in Rome.
"It is appropriate that we are launching this maker-centered initiative alongside one of the world's most renowned thought leaders within the movement, Chris Anderson, and a manufacturer like Boeing Company that embraces a form of maker principles within enterprise, all within the scope of a conference aimed at inspiring innovation," said Tricia Steele Seifert, CEO of SAI Digital.
Makervillage consists of five historic properties atop Clocktower Hill in downtown Rome. Owned by Wilson Burgess of Rome Paper Company and managed by Howard Realty, these properties are zoned Neighborhood Office Commercial, allowing selected tenants to live and work in the same location if desired. Each property can be subdivided to meet the growing needs of entrepreneurs. Information on Makervillage properties can be found at www.makervillage.org/sites/.
Makervillage tenants will have access to GigNet, the recently-launched Gigabit-speed Internet service from Parker FiberNet. GigNet is more than 200 times faster than the current national average.
"We can't wait to see what motivated engineers, programmers, artists, and entrepreneurs do with the speed and power of GigNet," said David Parker of Parker FiberNet.
Each Makervillage tenant will also be granted membership to 7Hills Makerspace, located in the renovated Masonic Lodge on Broad Street. As members, they will be able to tap into a diverse pool of creative talent and access a variety of cutting-edge tools.
"The number of makerspaces around the world has grown dramatically in recent years," said Greg Richardson, Founder of 7Hills Makerspace. "However, most have been contained within a facility, and have remained a part of the subculture. We envision Makervillage as a way to expand maker principles throughout the community, while offering entrepreneurs new opportunities to commercialize their inventions," he added.
Makervillage will provide to its members educational opportunities, project promotion, unified messaging, and professional support through a democratic, peer-based management model.
"This is fundamentally different from an incubator, accelerator, or traditional urban coworking space," said Seifert. "The resources made available to entrepreneurs are member-owned, not tied to equity or ownership, and entrenched in the maker values of trust, collaboration, openness, equal decision making, mentorship, and community."
An open house is scheduled for February 22nd from 2-3pm. More information can be found at makervillage.org. Applications are now being accepted for individuals, teams, and businesses interested in joining Makervillage. The application process can be started by visiting makervillage.org/apply-now.
SAI Digital specializes in web design, web app development, and inbound marketing. Founded in August of 2008, the company has grown from solo operation to a team of 10 employees headquartered in historic downtown Rome, Georgia as an anchor tenant of Makervillage.
7hills Makerspace is a membership-based, not-for-profit, community workshop located in Rome, Georgia, where local artists, engineers, business people, educators, and economic developers get together to make things.
Parker FiberNet is a leading provider of communications services in Northwest Georgia, connecting hundreds of anchor institutions across an eight-county area through its extensive fiber optic network. Parker is a homegrown, local company with roots in the community and a deep belief in the industrial, cultural and creative potential of Northwest Georgia.
CEO, SAI Digital
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SOURCE SAI Digital