By Aaron Aupperlee, TribLive
Protohaven, the nonprofit formed to take over for the Pittsburgh maker-space TechShop when it closed, has found a home.
The organization signed a lease on 3,000 square feet of space at 214 North Trenton Ave. in Wilkinsburg, according to a Facebook post and email sent Friday.
Devin Montgomery, co-founder and executive director of Protohaven, wrote that he hoped to have the space ready for visitors by Monday.
"It won't be beautiful on the first day. We'll need some help mopping and painting and a million other things. But if there was one thing I heard in our months of working together on this, it was that everyone wanted a hand in building the new space," Montgomery wrote. "This is our chance."
TechShop was a maker-space in Bakery Square that provided people with access to laser cutters, 3D printers, welders and other equipment most could not afford to own their own. Several people built prototypes at TechShops or ran businesses out of the location.
Montgomery and a handful of TechShop members formed Protohaven after TechShop announced it would close its location at Bakery Square. The location was scheduled to close at the end of November but TechShop abruptly declared bankruptcy Nov. 15 and closed down all its locations nationwide.
"TechShop is closed, but this community isn't. We did this. It feels great to be a part of it," Montgomery wrote.
Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers to improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.