Oslo co-working space MESH recently celebrated its first anniversary - and what a year it's been. There can be no doubt that MESH has raised the profile of Norway's startup scene both within Oslo and across the region.
The team at MESH aren't sitting back and relaxing though, far from it! Instead, they now turn their attention to linking up Oslo's design and engineering communities with a low-cost entrepreneurial environment, through a brand new Makerspace.
Norway's engineering strengths stretch far beyond oil and gas. There's a growing number of world-leading microchip companies supporting everyday products. Every time you use a wireless mouse, program an Arduino, play on a games console, or open your garage door, there's a high chance you're using Norwegian technology. Companies like Atmel (AVR), Nordic Semiconductor, Texas Instruments (Chipcon) and Energy Micro are at the forefront of enabling a smarter and better-connected future.
The aim of MESH Makers is to give entrepreneurs the tools to create more product-based startups, especially as the barrier to prototype physical products has never been so low. 3D printing is a great example:
"Many people think that a new industrial revolution is on its way, and the makerspaces make it happen. We want to join the movement, providing space and tools for people who live here. Our hope is that cool new product startups will come out of this space", says Kriszti Tóth from MESH.
Makerspaces are a global movement, particularly in the USA and China. There are plans for an astonishing 100 makerspaces in Shanghai, while the US government is providing 1000 of its schools with rapid prototyping equipment.
Some makerspaces already exist in Norway such as Trondheim's Hackheim, but MESH Makers will be a high-profile addition to an already bustling entrepreneurial environment in Oslo. To make the space come to life, founding members are sought to create the physical space and set the direction for the community.
If you're willing to pay six-months membership in advance to support the project, check out MESH Makers on FundedByMe, or watch this video for more information:
A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a technology writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.