That Inventor Life – October 2015

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It all started for Boston-returned Delhi-boy Vaibhav Chhabra when the roof of his earlier office fell down, breaking his furniture and he decided to build his new table from scratch. Fast forward 18 months from then, and he is now the founder of the only maker space India has to provide, Maker’s Asylum

What your inspiration for Maker’s Asylum?
I have seen a lot of maker spaces outside of India where there is a lot of learning happening. I love to learn, so whatever I do it’s about trying to learn something new. Even Maker’s Asylum as an entire venture is just a learning process for me. I had seen that kind of a culture that existed in Boston but here in India, there was no hardware ecosystem. Maker’s Asylum is an alternate education platform to allow people to share knowledge and learn. At the same time, we are creating an ecosystem for hardware start-ups, giving them all the facilities that they want, available at all times, so they can come, use, experiment and create more beautiful and impactful products.

How does one become a part of the Asylum?
There are two ways to do that. The first way is to donate your time, and you get access to all our systems and training sessions, on us. Give me 6 hours a week and in those hours, you try and push work for Maker’s Asylum. You help us build our little community. For people who don’t have that kind of time and want to pay, a fee of Rs. 3000/month or a Rs.1000/month for students is applicable. You can use the space, get trained on all the equipment, and use it when you want.

What kind of equipment do you have at your space?
Right now we have a couple of 3D printers, a laser cutter, all sorts of good working tools, an electronic library and everything you would need for basic electronic prototyping.

What is happening next for you?
We just got a nice big space in Andheri, so we’re going to build that playground up for us. I really enjoy building, so that is something I’m looking forward to do.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t think too hard. Usually, a good start-up is never meant for somebody else. It is to solve problems you are facing. So if you see a problem and even if it’s small and not expandable, start it. Maker’s Asylum for example, is not expandable, but the impact of these types of start-ups can get much higher in much shorter amount of time, because they are serving a nation. There are a lot more people like you facing the same problem, so it’s interesting to start it.

How big is your team?
7 people

How would you describe Maker’s Asylum in one phrase?
An innovation lab that is open for everyone. Or a gym for tools.

How would you describe Indian start-ups in one word?
Impactful

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