Center makes space for innovative efforts

The Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction is deservedly famous for the resources offered there to entrepreneurs: low-cost space, counseling and even financing.

Add to that entrepreneurial cornucopia the GJ Makerspace, a place where entrepreneurs, engineers and other inventive people can develop and test their ideas and, eventually, turn them into new businesses.

The GJ Makerspace isn’t yet a year old, but has grown rapidly in terms of both the number of people who use the facility and scope of what’s offered there.

Expectations for the program are ambitious. There are plans to open a makerspace at the Business Incubator Center satellite office in Fruita. There also are plans to pair the GJ Makerspace facility with other efforts. That includes an affiliate program for businesses that might need a meeting space or access to faster Internet as well as an accelerator program to launch new ventures in only six months.

The overall goal is to not only spawn new businesses and jobs, but also promote economic development on a larger scale by making the region a more nurturing home for innovation and high-tech industries.

As is so often the case in the Grand Valley, collaboration is a hallmark of the GJ Makerspace. The City of Grand Junction, Colorado Mesa University, Western Colorado Community College and local manufacturers all have been involved in opening the GJ Makerspace and providing instruction and assistance to those who use the facilities.

Praise is once again in order for the Business Incubator Center and efforts there to help entrepreneurs and in turn help the community. The GJ Makerspace offers yet another example of what can happen in literally making space for innovation.