How to start a Hackerspace

Session at Mozilla Drumbeat

I helped Ricardo Lafuente and Ana Carvalho who founded Hacklaviva a Hackerspace in Porto, Portugal run a small session on How to start a hackerspace. Ricardo and Ana also run a graphic design agency using strictly open source tools. At the session were among others Kerim Kalamujic Bosnian Mozilla community manager and contributor and Issa Mahasneh from Jordan Open Source Association. We discussed ways to organize Hackerspaces financially. Hacklaviva has been so lucky to get a free physical space, and has a philosophy of being completely non-commercial, no fees, no support from companies. Believing that any involvement of money would blur the ideological vision of their activities.
In Labitat we rely on monthly membership fees of about 20 EUR and we have workshops, sell refreshments and gratefully accept donations. At Illutron we do contracts as well to literally keep afloat and some members rely on payment from the organization to cover their living expenses. I believe a larger flow off money can be utilized to spur growth and help ideas and projects develop without necessarily forcing the ideological vision in any wrong direction.