When Tom Tobia was alerted to the opportunity represented by a disused 25,000 square feet of space in London’s Somerset House, he quickly contacted three people he thought might also see the potential. Tom, Andrew Merritt, Paul Smyth and Joe Smith worked hard to transform the dark and dingy rooms into what is now a thriving co-working space with a twist.
Makerversity’s diverse members include startups, freelancers, design studios, and not for profits, who are able to access tools, space, workshops and collaborative opportunities. In return, they pay a fee but - most importantly - they must be able to help Makerversity fulfil its mission to teach, support and inspire practical or creative young people.
The organisation works with schools, children’s charities and other organisations to provide free learning opportunities for young people, with the aim of becoming a genuine alternative to other forms of higher education.
While remaining independent, Makerversity recently opened its second site in the centre of Amsterdam, and hopes to be able to bring together, support, and inspire hundreds of makers and designers in many city centres to come.