Lynchburg nonprofit connects innovators with tools for success

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 7:07 PM EDT
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In downtown Lynchburg at the corner of Fifth and Court Streets, there's a space where innovators come to create.

"This concept is new to Lynchburg, but not new to the world," said Elise Spontarelli, executive director of Vector Space.

Vector Space is a non-profit laboratory and community workshop.

"It's sort of like a gym membership," Spontarelli said. "You pay a monthly fee to join and you get a key that gives you access to all of this (equipment)."

The organization owns equipment that might be hard for the average entrepreneur to access, like a 3-D printer.

"All of that is here for members to use on their own projects, or they can collaborate," said Spontarelli.

Vector Space is open to anyone over the age of 12, who might have an interest in learning how to use the available tools to bring their ideas to life.

"They get safety trained when they come in," Spontarelli explained, adding that a major goal of her organization is to educate.

"We think it's important to know how the phone in your pocket works," Spontarelli said.

Vector Space is partnering with another downtown group, Academy Center of the Arts, to offer three workshops this fall that encourage human ingenuity.

"Not everyone has a 3-D printer laying around," said Kelly Posenauer, education director for Academy Center of the Arts. "It's really cool to come to a space where you pay a one time fee and you're able to experience something you're not going to be able to experience everyday in a classroom."

Giving Lynchburg the space it needs to grow.

"We really want to be a place where community members can come, build, make, and learn," said Spontarelli.