Startup Delray Launches Community Tech Hub in Southern Palm Beach County

Posted by Michael Barnes on April 3, 2013
Startup Delray kicked off its inaugural event Monday night at the Delray Beach Public Library. The infant organization is part-working space, part-Makerspace and part-incubator in the vibrant beach community of Southern Palm Beach County.

The facility will feature a phase one launch next month with 3,000-square feet of co-working space at the library. The website will be up in a few weeks.

The idea behind Startup Delray was to collaborate with the heart of the community.

“We have an existing bricks and mortar building that is a hub of the community … so why don’t we use that space and segregate it as a co-working and Makerspace that will help us generate some revenue for the library and make use of the space we have,” said Irene Revelas, Founder of Startup Delray.

According to Revelas, libraries locally and across the country are in a state of “disruptive change” where they transition from hard cover books to digital ones, opening up space for alternate functions such as a technology and entrepreneurial hub in the community as is the case with Startup Delray.

Revelas was pleased with turnout. About 70 people showed up, and a bus brought up 13 attendees from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The main focus of the night was to gather feedback for the emerging space.

“We were completely blown away by the amazing thoughts and ideas that everybody generated when they broke off into four separate work groups,” Revelas stated. “That’s going to be very important information for how we look to build out and design the space going forward.”

From the input gathered, visitors to Startup Delray would like the space to have a 3D printer and on-demand printing that allows for single copy printing of rare and out-of-print books among other uses.

The Makerspace aspect of Startup Delray will have to accommodate a library setting.

“We’re not going to have a wood shop; we’re not going to have an automotive shop,” Revelas commented. “Everybody understood that there’s going to be limitations on the Makerspace side for what we can do.”

Attendees, especially the ones from Miami-Dade and Broward, encouraged more fluidity between co-working spaces in South Florida.

“What came across universally … is that they really want co-working around the tri-county area to be more collaborative and help establish a passport system,” Revelas said.

In other words, LAB Miami members, when travelling to Palm Beach County, can work out of the Startup Delray space and vice versa.

Part of the mission of Startup Delray is to be a part of the South Florida ecosystem of technology and startup support organizations, but it is primarily interested in serving its immediate community.

Our primary focus is anyone who moves to Delray Beach, lives in Delray Beach or visits Delray Beach has a go-to space in the heart of the community where there will be other like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators in technology and beyond,” Revelas concluded