Next-gen makerspace in Iowa City free to the community?

Innov8 Lab is a free-to-use makerspace in Iowa City and founder Tracy Jon Sargeant explains why the lab is making 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines accessible to the community.

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Tracy Jon Sargeant, Founder of The Multicultural Development Center

As a security engineer with Check Point Software Technologies, Tracy Jon Sargeant came to a realization there weren’t that many people that looked like him in IT. Why was that? Unlike most people when they encounter a big life question, he jumped in full throttle to find out why and address the challenge.

Today he is the founder of the Multicultural Development Center. The MDC focuses on STEM education for kids that have limited access, and one incredible aspect to the center is its new Innov8 Lab.

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The Innov8 Lab, Iowa City

Unlike your run-of-the-mill makerspace, Innov8 Lab has CNC Cutters, 3D Printers, Laser cutters, and “every tool Rayobi makes” Sargeant says. He’s a fan, apparently. The space also has sewing machines, heat presses, and other tools more familiar to those who have used a classic makerspace.

Sargeant has seen an influx in interest and use in the space from Iowans on the east side of the state starting businesses and building minimum viable products (MVBs) for their startups.

Schools can only handle so much, Sargeant says. It’s time for local business champions to fill the gaps and make sure students have access to sophisticated technology, so anyone with work ethic and drive can have opportunities in the state of Iowa.

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