Nominee - nathan pritchett
Service Provider of the Year
Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa
Tulsa entrepreneurs are unique in the world. How have your endeavor(s) added value to our community and the future of Tulsa?
The key word in the mission statement of Fab Lab Tulsa is ACCESS. We ensure access to 21st Century tools, equipment, technology and resources for all members of the Tulsa community, which spans a broad spectrum from hobbyist and tinkerers, to artist and designers, to engineers and scientists, to entrepreneurs and businesses. And not surprisingly, when you provide entrepreneurs with a high-quality, low-cost, low-risk method of rapid prototyping and micro-manufacturing, there is no end to what they can create, develop and produce.
If you aren’t failing, you aren’t succeeding. Share with us some of your failures to better understand how you have taken the lessons learned and applied them to support getting to where you are today.
At Fab Lab Tulsa we encourage failure as part of the design process, which can happen often when there is no “right” answer to a problem. And we use this same approach to evaluate the organization’s products and services. As a young organization that is offering a new service to the Tulsa community, there was little research available on membership models and pricing. But by utilizing the design process, Fab Lab Tulsa has been able to continually generate ideas, collect data, test, evaluate and redesign our offering to meet member expectations. The key has been to clearly identify the problem, to not rush solutions, to plan for multiple iterations and to stay user-centered.
Being creative is vital to an entrepreneurial endeavors success. Share an out-of-the-box experience that has made you stronger as an entrepreneur.
Over time I have crafted my own saying, “On Top of the Box,” and someday I might write a paper on my perspective. I believe it is critical for an organization to stay grounded in its core beliefs, to know its orthodoxies and to focus on its uniqueness. Only then do you have the freedom to explore the flip-side of the box, examine the box from multiple perspectives and to look outside it to evaluate new opportunities. Fab Lab Tulsa recently hosted and produced the Tulsa Mini Maker Faire, a completely new event and something that stretched our abilities. But maker faire was undertaken only after determining that it was true to our core mission and values.
Tell us a story that involved you that either at the time or looking back makes you laugh.
Fab Lab Tulsa is a great work environment for both staff and members, and we generally laugh a lot. Just this week we took delivery of MakerBot’s new Digitizer, which is a desktop 3D scanner. After getting it unpacked, setup, calibrated and tested, we immediately started wondering, “What is the coolest thing we can scan?” Not satisfied with the objects found in the lab, we looked out the window to Cancun across the street and considered sending someone to get a taco. But then decided a pastry from the Pancho Anaya bakery would be less messy. So we now have a life-size 3D print of our favorite Mexican pastry on display in the lab.
- Sept. 12th: Tulsey Awards Kickoff - Nominations Open
- Oct. 6th: Tulseys Nominations Close
- Oct. 16th: Tulseys Voting Opens
- Nov. 8th: Tulseys Voting Closes
- Nov. 21st: Tulsey Awards Ceremony