Crowdsourcing helps revive ailing not-for-profit technology organisation

A tech enthusiast works on a project at Hackerspace Brisbane. Hackerspace Brisbane has run a successful campaign on crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter.
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A supportive “crowd” has leapt to the defence of a struggling not-for-profit technology organisation.

After operating in the River City for five years, Hackerspace Brisbane – which provides high-end equipment to technology enthusiasts working on projects in fields such as robotics, programming and metalwork – was hitting a financial wall.

This, its executives argue, was disappointing because the equpment the company provide is normally only found in universities and large private corporations.

The organisation turned to crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to revive community interest and raise the funds it needed to continue providing education and access to professional equipment.

HSBNE president Victor Vicario explained it launched its campaign  in September and raised 116 per cent of its initial goal.

Mr Vicario said the campaign also generated a fresh wave of interest from the Brisbane community.

2014 had already been a big year for HSBNE, with the organisation nearly doubling its memberships and growing a stronger presence on social media.

“Over the past year we’ve had a nice improvement – we’ve gone from 30 members to 50 something members,” Mr Vicario said.

“We’ve had a good increase on our Facebook page, nearly doubling our page’s likes.”

Hackerspace is a creative international movement established in the US in 2007. Its website, Hackspaces.org states it aims to provide “community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects”.

Mr Vicario breaks down the organisation into three arms – the first catering to the technology hobbyist who wants to “tinker” with various technologies and the other two running education courses and helping innovators launch their tech inventions.

Mr Viscario said he hoped 2015 would see HSBNE generate further exposure within the Brisbane community as well as secure sponsorship to allow for more educational classes.

“In the next year, I’d love to see Hackerspace have 100 members and set up a line of funds with sponsors.”

For more information about Hackerspace Brisbane visit their website http://hsbne.org/

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