Crowdfunding campaign launched for “i3Detroit Expansion” in Ferndale

Monday, July 22, 2019

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – A makerspace and innovation hub in the city of Ferndale will create a new space through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and nonprofit i3Detroit announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by Sept. 20, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Spaces that encourage people to come together, share knowledge and create are critical to the vitality of a community,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The project will allow the ten-year running organization i3Detroit to create a new space for artists, hobbyists, craftspeople, technology enthusiasts and engineering competition teams across metro Detroit. The space will provide visitors access to equipment that would be cost-prohibitive for individuals to own or operate. It will be an incubator for small businesses, artists and craftspeople, in addition to providing free or at-cost classes that are open to the public.

I3Detroit is a venue for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education. Although the organization is not geared toward youth, it supports and partners with existing programs in the community, such as FIRST Robotics and the Shell Eco-Challenge. It has been a key participant in Maker Faire and other local festivals. With the recent demise of TechShop and Village Workshop, it is one of the few places in metro Detroit now providing these services.

“These funds will help i3Detroit add to and update infrastructure, build out new and expanded zones and purchase equipment,” said Jan Henry, director of i3Detroit. “We are so grateful to the Public Spaces Community Places program.”

“Creating a supportive environment for local entrepreneurs is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This makerspace will provide startups and artists with the tools and training they need to launch and grow their businesses.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of July 12, 2019, MEDC has provided more than $6.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 218 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.8 million raised from 40,529 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.