Liverpool’s time to Do Epic Stuff

does liverpool do epic stuff

DoES Liverpool is a Co-Working Space in the heart of the city


Now seen as the natural home for startups and businesses in Liverpool and beyond, DoES Liverpool started out as the idea of a group of people who were sharing a small office and running Maker Nights.

Back in 2011, a small group of Liverpool techies and entrepreneurs set about putting a plan into action. This was the latest step in a series of moves, hatched (as ever) in conversations at meetups and conferences, at evenings in the pub or over coffee. Regardless of venue, all were based on these simple premises;

  1. There is scope for Liverpool’s tech and startup scene to be bigger, and better, and to contribute more to the city’s prosperity
  2. The people best placed to understand how to make that happen are the geeks and business owners themselves
  3. And their interest in emerging digital fabrication tools and the fledgling field of the Internet of Things present an opportunity for Liverpool to get ahead and differentiate itself

Ignite Liverpool, Unconferences and Hackathons

Such thinking had already led to regular celebrations of passion in Ignite Liverpool, one off unconferences and hackathons plus a partnership with LJMU’s Art and Design Academy to run monthly meetups introducing people to laser-cutting, 3D printing and electronics.

These were useful for a sharing ideas but were, however, fairly discreet events. What was missing was a permanent home for those looking to make things happen.

On 22nd July 2011, DoES Liverpool opened its doors to provide that home. It turns out that what is good for technologists is good for plenty of other people too. In the offices, alongside the mobile app coders, freelance web developers and tech startups, you’ll find translators and charity workers. Next-door, the workshop is as likely to contain an artist cutting out designs on one of the laser-cutters, as it is a new Internet of Things device being prototyped on the 3D printer or its circuit board being soldered up.

It’s an open and welcoming place. As well as residents, who pay by the month, many in the community will drop in and use it by the day – whether that’s because they need a particular piece of equipment, or because they just want to escape from sitting alone at their kitchen table.

Things don’t get any quieter in the evenings. That’s when the community comes together to hang out, trade stories and learn new things. Most evenings there is some gathering or meetup taking place, from the more hands-on of Sewing Club or Maker Night, to more traditional events like one of Liverpool Startup Club‘s entrepreneur fireside chats, a discussion on the latest coding tools at the Javascript User Group, or a show and tell from the Drone User Group.

Developing a Community

Both the space and the level of activity within it are steadily expanding, as more people join in and get involved. As co-founder John McKerrell says, “It’s great to watch the interests of the community develop and intersect in interesting ways. Who knows what will emerge from that in the next ten or twenty years?”

Which isn’t to say that there haven’t already been some success stories.

The interest in the Internet of Things has borne fruit with two of the co-founders having a book published on the topic, and in 2013 the community was asked to showcase its products in the field front and centre at the Internet World conference in Earls Court.

And there are collaborations popping up elsewhere too; from the fledgling startup building 3D visualisations of environmental data, to designers and web developers teaming up to form the tech team for another local startup.

The community are definitely rising to the challenge posted by the group’s name – to Do Epic Sh… Stuff Liverpool!

 

Written By:

Steve Sparrow

DoES Liverpool is a community of people with a diverse range of skills and interests. This includes entrepreneurs and company founders, artists and makers, developers and hardware engineers, academics and students (and many people that are less easy to label). Find out more on the DoES Liverpool website.

Author: admin

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