Micro-Manufacturing Peer Support Group - Friday Aug 17


Oakland is a Fab City!

You are the emerging manufacturers who will create new systems, new ways of working, new products, new materials, and generally new ideas. In order to achieve long term goals of increasing local production and sustainability, we need to find ways to help each other. 

Come join us, meet each other, and enjoy a snack and a beverage before you start your weekend. We promise - it's worth your time.

5pm, Fri Aug 18, at Elevator Works


Fab Cities – Coming to You Soon (-ish)

By 2054 all cities will be self-sustaining... or at least the cool ones. 

The Fab City Global Initiative launched in 2011 by the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, the same place that introduced Fab Labs to the world. Building upon the concept of the Fab Lab, bit by bit and atom by atom, a Fab City will be growing it’s own food, manufacturing it’s own goods, and powering itself in an efficient net zero loop.

Fab Lab grew from the intriguingly titled and wildly popular course at MIT called, How To Make (Almost) Anything. The class which was started in 2001 used advanced manufacturing tools such as 3D printers, CBC Routers, Laser Cutters, electronics benches as well as traditional hand tools to make, as advertised (almost) anything.  Today there are almost 1300 Fab Labs around the world and the Fab Lab model will support the Fab City movement, but much more will be needed to make the shift to self-sustaining cities - it’s not just a technological shift, we’ll also need a deep cultural shift in how we think about and relate to cities.

Thomas Diez who launched the Fab City project in Barcelona said, “Fab Labs are not about technology, however, they are about the culture around technology. And they are spreading fast….I can design something in Barcelona, and without using fossil fuel, create the identical product in Cape Town, Wellington or Tokyo.”  In terms of how the Fab Labs contribute to the landscape of a Fab City, Diez says, “A fab city is not a city full of fab labs. It’s ecosystem that is varied, coherent and connected.”

Today there are roughly 30 member cities representing each continent (except for Antarctica – which surprisingly doesn’t have a Fab Lab yet) including about 10 new cities which announced their intentions to join the initiative a few weeks ago at the Fab City Summit in Paris.  The theme of this summit was Fabricating Resilience.

Think for a moment what a resilient, self-sustaining city looks like.  It will be interconnected with all other member cities through open-sourced technology and processes. It will be adaptable, nimble, and, in theory equitable.

...Only 36 years to go

Be sure to check out upcoming posts about Fab Cities:

  • Utilities

  • Tech

  • Food and Beverage

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Industry

  • Workforce

  • Equity

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Join us for our monthly Micro-Manufacturing Peer Support Group - Friday July 20th

Last month was a hit! Thanks to everyone who came out. I hope you'll all come back and bring a friend this Friday!

Since we last met Elevator Works has hosted the digital fabrication shop for Red Bull Creation, traveled to Paris for the Fab City conference, and won a CNC Router! (this is a good story - there's definitely a blog post in it & we'll tell you all about it on Friday).  Looking forward to hearing what you've been up to and, as always, how Elevator Works can help your projects and your business and your all-around well being (that last one might be easy, might be hard, but hey, we're in this together).

And if you don't know:

West Oakland is the place where a modern manufacturing economy is emerging. We are in a time of rapid change and disruption of traditional design and production. We are in a city full of smart, resourceful, creative people who are working in various ways with materials. Traditional manufacturers need to learn new ways of working. Innovators and inventors need access to resources, and to each other. We all need to learn to make the most of expensive real estate, scarce workers, and shifting customer expectations.

We do this by connecting to each other. Join us for our second monthly Micro-Manufacturing Peer Support Group, with great people, and also snacks.

All before dinnertime, every Third Friday

Register Here

Now you know.


Join us at Red Bull Creation - Sunday July 1 at American Steel

We're proud to be hosting the CNC shop for Red Bull Creation, coming to West Oakland June 28-July 1. Creation is a 72 hour innovation competition that gathers Makers, Hackers, and Inventors to create something new around a collaborative topic.  Each year presents a new, unique challenge and theme. In 2018, Red Bull Creation lands right here in Oakland, with the goal of creating new connections and collaborations. The theme of this year's Creation challenge is: “Bridges Over Walls”.

We're excited to see what local teams do with this challenge, and the awesome things they'll create. As part of the theme, Creation's team selection process has changed this year - instead of selecting teams from existing organizations/sites, Creation teams this year were selected randomly. This was done intentionally to put teams together that haven't worked together before, because they believe unexpected things will happen as a result.

Sure sounds a lot like our value proposition. I think we're both onto something powerful...

We'll be hosting a design thinking and fabrication workshop for young men from the Hidden Genius Project, which hosts a summer school for young black men to expose them to tech, entrepreneurship, and leadership, and we're thrilled to be talking about all these things with their youth. We hope this won't be the last project we do with the Hidden Geniuses.

Creation is open to the public on Sunday July 1, starting at noon.  Come see what Creation hath wrought!

114 of you helped us raise $10,000! Thank you.

Thank you to all our supporters who contributed to our crowdlending campaign on Kiva. We raised $10,000 in just over a week. We couldn't have done it without the help of every one of you.

We'll be ramping up our pilot activities immediately. Stay tuned for more news coming soon.

We'll also be back to ask for help raising more capital to get us to a fully-funded launch. We believe in the power of local direct investment to fund local businesses which create local impact. We hope you do, too. More coming on that front.

@goElevatorWorks! #GetInGoUp #crowdfunding #crowdinvestment #westoaklandindustry

Lend us $25, $50 or $100 on Kiva - we need you to be part of the Elevator Works story


We're bootstrapping Elevator Works right now, and we're doing all we can without much money. But it really does take money to make money, and we're limited in how much we can do without more cash. We need to do things like hire staff, pay for space improvements, invest in necessary equipment and tools. Without capital, we can't actually provide all the services we need to grow and sustain the Elevator Works community.

We think our story appeals to local people who care about local jobs, local entrepreneurship, and local economy. We know many of you are not wealthy accredited investors, but it's important to us to provide the opportunity for you to be part of this story. We also want to give Elevator Works members a chance to help us get started and collect a dividend later when we're turning a profit.

So, the first step in our public campaign to raise the capital we need is a smallish one - we're borrowing $10,000 on Kiva. That campaign is about 60% funded as I write this - you still have a chance to get in before it's fully funded if you hurry...

Obviously, we'd sure also appreciate if you let your networks know about this campaign.

We need a lot more than $10k to get fully up and running. We're committed to opening up that opportunity to all of you. Stay tuned for more - I'll share as soon as I'm able.

- sal (& the E.W. team)

Rita Forte, The Olive Street Agency


Who is Rita?

I'm an Oakland native, and have had a long life as a creative here. I ran an East Oakland coffeehouse for some time, and had a career as a DJ (DJ Backside), which led to events production and talent management. I developed my knack for communication and marketing and launched The Olive Street Agency.

Along the way, I also co-founded an all-women's pickup basketball league, and adopted Butters (@ButtersthedogfromOakland).

What is The Olive Street Agency?

We help people, brands and small businesses tell their stories. We have three practices: Branded Merchandise, Social Media Management, and Talent Partnerships.

We let our clients focus on what they're best at, and get at the heart of what makes them unique and memorable. It's often challenging when you're working on a project to know how to reach customers - how to tell your story in a way that gets your audience excited and makes your message stick. We help with that challenge.

What first brought you to Elevator Works?

I came to explore a partnership with Movement Ink, a neighbor of Elevator Works. At first, I didn't think of Elevator Works as something that was relevant for The Olive Street Agency. But I saw that modern fabrication is really great at producing custom, branded items, and that the Elevator Works community might be a good place to find opportunities I wasn't thinking about before.

Elevator Works actually works because it's already part of a growing community of modern manufacturing businesses in West Oakland.

Why did you join the EW community?

I stayed at Elevator Works because I found I was surrounded by all kinds of small companies, working in modern manufacturing business. For example, I quickly made a connection with Second Line Vinyl, who is opening a record pressing plant in West Oakland (also in the same building), and found that our shared music industry connections meant that we could explore ways to work together to help local artists.

The Elevator Works co-working space is a place for the doers, and The Olive Street Agency needs to be in this kind of environment. I work in collaborative environment with other creative and highly motivated individuals and small companies. It's exciting here, and I feel welcome and included.

Sal Bednarz (Elevator Works CEO) asked me to launch and manage social media for Elevator Works, and of course I said yes. I guess that makes me the first B2Barter member!

I'm an Oakland native, and I'm excited about the opportunity to be part of the formation of this new kind of business community. Come find me here at Elevator Works, just about every day of the week!

#GoodStuff #SignUsUp #TheOliveStreetAgencyWantsToBeAroundMoreOfThat  #GetInGoUp