Photo courtesy of LVL1
Photo courtesy of LVL1

LVL1, Louisville’s premier maker and hackerspace, just received a $50,000 grant from the Small Business Administration Fund Competition. It is one of just 80 such recipients in the United States (including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico) and was selected from a pool of 400 applicants.

The grant money will be used to purchase new tools, improve the LVL1 workspace, and increase the amount of workshops and courses offered by LVL1.

The grants were given to accelerators and spaces that allow makers and would-be makers access to tools, and that educate and mentor entrepreneurs. In total, $4.4 million in grants were awarded.

According to an official statement from LVL1, the purpose of the grants was to draw attention and funding to parts of the U.S. where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. “While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others,” the official statement added.

“This accelerator grant further highlights that entrepreneurs, makers, artists and tinkerers in Louisville will continue to have access to needed tools, resources and a community to bring their ideas to life,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in the press release. “As a LVL1 member I look forward to seeing how this grant opens the door to new possibilities.”

LVL1 will use this grant money to purchase various pieces of equipment, including an embroidery machine and a ShopBot CNC router. The money also will improve the lighting and ventilation at LVL1’s 8,800-square-foot Butchertown facility. In addition, LVL1 will use these funds to launch new workshops and programs, including startup cofounder meet-ups.

“We are an open community uniquely positioned to help anyone that is curious or wants to learn nearly any skill set,” said Danielle Blank, president of LVL1. “We encourage anyone interested in learning, making and doing to visit our space through our open hours or events and consider joining as a member to gain access to the existing and new equipment.”

For additional information on these grants click here.

David Serchuk
David Serchuk is a staff writer at Insider Louisville. He is a former editor at Forbes.com, and an ex-reporter at Forbes magazine. He's written for NPR, CNBC.com, New York, Pittsburgh, Louisville and other publications named for places. He enjoys writing about business, music and other things as well.