[Linux-aus] Grant Application - Gold Coast Tech Space

Steve Dalton steve at refactor.com.au
Thu Feb 9 08:07:16 EST 2012

Date: 9/2/12

Project Name: Gold Coast Tech Space

Aim of Project: Promote Open Collaboration in tech community on the Gold

Person Responsible for Request: Steve Dalton

Request: We recently formed the Gold Coast TechSpace (late 2011) - a
collaborative space based on the Hackerspace Model. The project is going
quite well, we have a large unit in Southport, have incorporated as a
Association and have an active committee. We also have a small but growing
membership base. Our setup is slightly different to other hackerspaces;
half of the space is typical hackerspace projects - Electronics, hardware
hacking, 3D printing (we just finished our first Reprap) etc. The other
half is more of a "Lab" for people to come and spend time working on their
projects (predominantly Open Source) and learn (workshops and community
based training are in the works)

Part of the way we helped setup the space was to offer Founding
Partnerships to local businesses and institutions to help us bootstrap the
space. We initially had 3 partners which helped pay for the Bond on the
property, ongoing rent while membership built to sustainable levels,
benchtops and some equipment.

Our 4th partner that has just come on board is Griffith Uni, and we did
have a 5th, a local web mobile development company that were going to base
themselves from the space but this fell through. I was going to replace
this 5th one with the Gold Coast City Council, but with local elections
looming it seems that purse strings are tightly drawn!

Founding membership costs $3500 per year and with that they get
- Full membership for 3 of their employees/members/students (normally costs
- Your logo on the sign on the front of the space for the lifetime of the
space (not just 1st year)
- Logo and links on main website gctechspace.org and meetup.com/gctechspace

I am looking for another local partner, but as we are planning on doing a
:LOT of Linux and FLOSS advocacy at the space nd our local LUG also meets
at the space, I was wondering if having Linux Australia as a partner might
be a possibility.

I realise that LA is not National and the 3 membership are not really
useful, but I was thinking these could be gifted to local Gold Coasters
doing good work in the Linux/FLOSS community. 2 local nominations I could
think of off the top of my head are Ben Martin who is a committer to
Abiword and libFerris file system (speaker at recent LCA on this topic)
and Triffid Hunter who is heavily involved with RepRap.

A lot of people in Australia think of the Gold Coast as all about Tourism
and property development, and this is partially true, our economy is very
narrow at the moment. However, there is also a thriving tech community just
desperate to break out. I am hoping the Gold Coast TechSpace will be a hub
for this. A large Cultural Precinct is currently being planned on the Coast
for 2015, final completion 2018 when the Commonwealth Games arrives. Part
of this precinct is a 6000m2 cultural centre and I have a (loose)
commitment from the  Council that the Gold Coast Tech Space will get a
decent amount of space in this precinct. Until then, we just need to prove
the concept and get it nicely sustainable.

In terms of what the money would probably be spent on - we currently do not
have anywhere enough power points, so around $1000 would be paying the
electrician. We would also like to get a projector for user groups to
present with and use at Barcamps (which I am regular organiser of). We will
also have a full lab of PCs (donated from City Council) which I am hoping
to get extra monitors for so that we can do full pairing with our
programming workshops. Lots of other thing - but this gives you an idea.

If you have any further questions - feel free to email me back. I can also
be contacted on the mobile on 0414 464564

Steve Dalton
President, Gold Coast TechSpace
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