Gadgetcat was founded in June 2013 initially as an engineering consulting company. The founder, Brooks Zurn, came from an entreprenurial background of a family manufacturing business in the biomedical instrumentation industry. After she founded Gadgetcat, as a side project she took on the task of ordering supplies and special orders for FamiLAB, an Orlando-based hackerspace. This had previously been handled by another member and they graciously walked her through the process of getting started.
To facilitate the quote/payment process for the FamiLAB people, she created an e-commerce website, and unexpectedly started receiving orders from around the world.
With this rapid growth, Brooks realized the need for an Orlando coworking space that could support hardware startups. With access to tools and professional consultation, but a casual opt-in opt-out approach to hard-core incubation. She had visited Bolt.io in Boston while attending the 2013 Open Hardware Summit, and NextFab in Philadelphia, and they were intriguing. Orlando is at the crest of a quiet but real tech industry explosion (partly due to its vibrant and active maker community), has several successful coworking spaces and incubators for both software and medical-based startups, but lacked a facility that could support light manufacturing. So Brooks joined forces with another FamiLAB member, rented a manufacturing space with offices, and opened Sunshine Labs in January 2014. As a member of Sunshine Labs, Gadgetcat (and now other Orlando startups!) have access to the kind of manufacturing tools and resources that give small American-based manufacturers a needed boost towards becoming independent, successful businesses. In only a few months, Sunshine Labs’ combined experience has already helped towards getting other businesses off the ground and running by providing access to tools and equipment. Sunshine Labs is a recipient of a Small Business Administration Accelerator grant, for helping hardware accelerators get started.
Gadgetcat is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting process!
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