what is the cost of running an group like hackspace

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Roshan Mishra

Dec 10, 2011, 7:10:41 AM12/10/11
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i was looking to start a hacker group on some what same line like yours. it would be awesome if some one who is well aware about the inner functioning of the this group who can tell me about the things i need to worry about and what is the cost of running such a group. i have planned to making non profit so is there any way other than donations and personal money to fund such a group. what is your publications and awareness startigies and what kind of thing that's makes a group group. 
i kept my massage short so age to get down to business without wasting much of  your time. It would be of great value if you would do the same. 

Roshan Mishra

danny staple

Dec 10, 2011, 8:26:57 AM12/10/11
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There was actually an article on this in one the Make magazine
editions (#28) - I think it was worked out to come to around $25k or
similar, based on memberships and other contributions. This includes
rental of a space, acquisition of tools, maintenance and so on. It was
an article suggesting that a number of public libraries should be
converted to hackspaces.

Danny Staple

Director, ODM Solutions Ltd
w: http://www.odmsolutions.co.uk
Blog: http://orionrobots.co.uk/blog1-Danny-Staple

Ben Barwise

Dec 10, 2011, 9:58:31 AM12/10/11
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I have a bit of experience in renting premesis

I imagine renting is a little different in the uk to us

When renting a premesis ontop of actual rent you have to consider

Service charges ( they can be very high or non existent )
Business rates ( small business rates currently is at 100 % off also some councils give discretionary discount )
Gas electricity water ( large business places can be very leaky in terms of heat )
What your landlord is responsible for ( I think this depends on contracts and the type of property )

You will find a lot oflandlords are open to negotiation on price, be confident about it ... Talking it down is not easy.

And remember if you spot anything broken or needs doing up you get them to sign an agreement that they will do it up ... I have got a landlord to write this into the deposit agreement before.

Finally if you have to build temporary Walls , it is not as cheap as it seems!

Roshan Mishra

Dec 10, 2011, 12:56:17 PM12/10/11
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thanks all of you ..

i am in India and here the rents, parts other things are cheap compared to the western countries like US or UK... you guys are right about the rental agreements on one of my previous such tries(i tried fundamental rights to school and college students) the guy started whining for more money even when we were upfront about our agendas and told him what the space would be used for.

 i have another query, i want to make this place free for all no membership fees and stuff but the issue is if i don't keep a membership fee whatever money i have left, will dry up really fast.so i just need a word of advice is it okay to ask for membership fee and tell the members what money will be used for, upfront and give them a detailed idea and in the mean the time keep this group not for profit type. i am not sure how to go about it i want to make it free but if i do that i will be bankrupt within a year. 

by the way thank you guys i do appreciate you guys taking the pain to reply back. it was really helpful. 

roshan mishra 

phil jones

Dec 10, 2011, 3:07:34 PM12/10/11
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The Hackspace has a "pay what you think it's worth" policy with a very
low minimum and a reasonable "norm" for those who want to pay a fair
rate. There's an informal expectation that you pay the minimum either
if you can't afford more or you are an infrequent user of the
facilities. Heavy users who can afford it would be expected to pay
something closer to the high-end of the range, but here's no attempt
to waste everyone's time by making explicit "plans" offering different
rates for different guaranteed levels access. (At least, not that I've

This feels very fair to me.

I'm not involved in running the London Hackspace, but as a member and
observer, I'd suggest that one of the reasons the London Hackspace
works is because there are a *lot* of members, relative to the actual
number of people you may see in the space at any one time. The
Hackspace, as is, couldn't work if it only had 20 or so members.

One thing to bear in mind if you're interested in starting something
like this is that the hackspace were working together and growing
their community a couple of years BEFORE they began renting premises.
The community made the space; the space didn't make the community. If
you're starting the other way around then the LHS may not be a good
model for you.



Dec 10, 2011, 7:08:24 PM12/10/11
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i cant stress enough what phil says.

The community made the space; the space didn't make the community.

building a community should be the first thing you do. it takes time and effort but is worth it. once you have a critical mass of people willing to commit getting membership+money and finding a space will just happen. and once you have a space im pretty sure getting more members wont be a problem. so its not worth worrying about right now

out of curiosity, which city (i assume its a city) are you going to start a hackerspace in?

Roshan Mishra

Dec 11, 2011, 11:19:30 AM12/11/11
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to answer your question the city that i would like to start is kolkata ( calcutta), west bengal. 

by the way, you are right about  

The community made the space; the space didn't make the community.
and i have been working very hard on this for last 3 / 4 weeks .. from IIT guys to university guys of kolkata .and folks  are really interested when i explain the idea to them.  i have organised a few seminars for a few friends who work in kolkata's IT space and so far the response has been really positive.let see where we stand after a year from now. 

thanks again to all of your valuable comments i will keep them in mind



Dec 11, 2011, 1:45:59 PM12/11/11
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i accidentally ran into this. not sure if it will help

good luck with it. if you have any other questions just ask.

Roshan Mishra

Dec 11, 2011, 1:56:07 PM12/11/11
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no that's not me .. thanks for the info tho.. i will look into it   


Dec 11, 2011, 2:02:18 PM12/11/11
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Russ has kindly corrected me and pointed me to a more concise version


Dec 11, 2011, 3:06:45 PM12/11/11
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Do pop into ISI (indian statistical institute) u might find interesting folks there too ... I spend some time in Cryptology Research Group there as a visitor :)
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

From: Roshan Mishra <rosh...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 00:26:07 +0530
Subject: Re: [london-hack-space] what is the cost of running an group like hackspace
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