Theory: Having a place where people can pay a small monthly fee and drop by any time, 24/7, to work, game, party, hang out, meet friends, etc. The goal would be to build the community among the hacker/programmer/tinkerer people in Winnipeg and give them a common place where they can combine their talents to work on projects. Vancouver's hackerspace has a good description: http://vancouver.hackspace.ca/wp/about/
My vision is having a big room for events/etc with couches, tables, projector, screen, and sound equipment, which can be rearranged as necessary. Then have a separate room with tables for working in, and maybe a workshop type room and a kitchen.
IIRC, Vancouver's hackerspace charges a one-time fee of $100, and a monthly fee of $30 or so. That gives the members unlimited access, 24/7. Guests would be welcome - Vancouver has one day/week when guests have full access, and Vienna has a complete opendoor policy (guests are always welcome as long as they're with a member). I prefer the latter.
I'd want to make it a non-profit, and use all money made for rent, tools, equipment, and paying back the initial investment that somebody's going to have to make. In terms of audience, I think the best one would be university folks, but everybody would naturally be welcome.
For promotion, I think the best way would be to spread the word among our friends, and also host free events. Electronic music things (whatever you call that nonsense :P), parties, etc. I think people would love to have a space like this. The one in Vienna has a few people in it at all hours. Somebody told me that 20-25 paid members is sustainable.
Initial capital will be an issue. The options are to fund raise (host a social, that kind of thing), get money from the bank, or get money from an investor (I know somebody with a lot of money who has a lot of faith in me.. I bet he'd help). I don't know much about business stuff, though, so I'm willing to argue this one.
Anyway, nothing is written in stone. Everything there is negotiable, potentially stupid, etc. In addition to that, here are things that we would potentially need to buy or discuss (we should meet in person to argue about what's necessary, nice-to-have, and retarded - this is a pure braindump).
- Preferably a basement type thing in the Exchange, with several rooms/one big room
- Kitchen stuff
- Coffee maker, maybe one of those fancy ones
- Drink fridge/cooler/whatever
- What would it take to have alcohol?
- Vienna uses honour system to sell drinks, basically a drop box
- Frozen food for sale?
- I'd like to avoid the coke/pepsi stuff
- Access control (keycard? key?)
- Security (alarm?)
- Network/wifi (voi or les.net?)
- Storage (lockers, like at gym)
- Tables, chairs, couches, foldout chairs
- Projector(s) + screen(s)
- Party/event stuff
- Sound gear
- Workshop type stuff
- Computer gear (monitors/keyboards/etc)
- Electronics tools
- Network drops
- Costs, restrictions, privileges
- Hire cleaners? Rotating requirement for members?
- Startup money
- Donations? Events? Box social? Actual investor?
- Hosting events (parties/talks) would be a good way
- Audience (any comp sci types allowed? electrical engineers? everybody?)
- Open door policy (ie, non-members)
- Sean (TheCanadian)'s dad does a good job and cuts me a deal
- Library stuff
- Books, shelves
- Borrowing system? Honour system?
- Official 'hackerspace' membership
- Mailing list
- *ugh* facebook page
- Paint, stuff like that
- Games/RPGs/dice/space to play
Who's involved (alphabetically)?
See a hastily written outline of Andrew's thoughts for some other ideas/issues.