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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Vivian Sanders
President- i3Detroit

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
734.669.6317; C: 810.874.1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for "i3Detroit Expansion" in Ferndale

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

LANSING, Mich. – A makerspace and innovation hub in 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 September 20th, 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 local 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 allow people to come together, share knowledge, and create are critical to string communities,” 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.”

This 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 prohibitive for individuals to own or operate. It will be an incubator for small businesses, artists, and craftspeople, provide free or at-cost classes and training 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, we support and partner with existing programs in the community, such as FIRST Robotics and the Shell Eco-Challenge. They have been a key participant in Maker Faire and other local festivals. With the recent demise of TechShop and Village Workshop they are one of the few places in metro Detroit now providing these services.

"These funds will help i3detroit to 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 their businesses and contribute to the vitality of the community.”

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 Dec. 31, 2018, MEDC has provided more than $5.8 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 189 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.8 million raised from 35,715 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: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at




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