Hello, I am James Hannam founder and director of MakerLabs.
First off, welcome and thanks for taking the time to look around (and read this too!).
MakerLabs, a company setup to inspire makers to make. It’s the result of a 14 year teaching career, a move into the world of IT consultancy and my background in product design and manufacture.
The company started as a need for me to combine teaching, training and making into something that paid the bills. As a qualified Apple and Google consultant I started out offering services to support long term ‘tech’ projects - deploying mobile technologies in schools, helping develop training programmes for business, project management for charities. MakerLabs has worked with the Department for Education, Casio, BBC, giffgaff, Apple and Google to name a few!
Over the last few years MakerLabs has evolved to focus on STEM and inspiring people of all ages to make… be that taking part in our courses, building our kits, or using our skills and experience to make their businesses more awesome. Being member of a thriving Maker community in Birmingham, I have seen first hand how awesome it is to be able to share ideas and projects with fellow makers, MakerLabs is now offering monthly subscription boxes delivered to your door aimed at encouraging you to learn something a little geeky each month.
MakerLabs joined the STEAMhouse in Digbeth last year, and has worked closely with them offering new courses, leading on ‘Challenge Labs’ and helping local (and national) companies with taking ideas from paper to production fast! STEAMHouse enables companies like MakerLabs to showcase our skills and projects on a larger scale, as well as having some really superb workshop spaces! STEAMHouse has allowed us to work with the likes of Balfour Beatty, Daily Mile, BBC Academy,
Showcasing MakerLabs at MakersCentral in 2018, we met a small startup, Pantri and have since joined forces - Pantri was fortunate to be accepted into the very prestigious TechStars accelerator programme in the early part of 2019. Since then it is going from strength to strength. The experience of being part of such an awe-inspiring mentorship programme has had its affect… MakerLabs has developed a mini accelerator for young people, offering mentorship and investment similar in style to Techstars, but applying a mix of education experience and product design to help young people start their own businesses. The first iteration of this has been overwhelming, with a sell out of the course in just a few days. The next version is in development, if you want to know more contact me below!
So thats a very brief summary of MakerLabs, and hopefully it gives you a little insight into our attitude and background,
Whats next? Well… here are a few things we have on our todo list…
Maker School - working with the home school community in the west midlands to offer STEM based resources and access to professional level training for both students and their parents.
Maker Boxes - subscription based mailer that has some of the projects we are working on, its opportunity to shape our projects, but also learn a little about electronics, mechanics, rapid prototyping, making, designing and everything in between.
Consultancy projects - working closely with the Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham to enhance their digital course offerings as well as their internal systems… an awesome change management project through our MakerLabs Pro brand. Developing our maker curriculum as a white label for universities. Some cool product design projects that are a little hush hush!
Tentatively exploring projects with the UK Government and HS2, using our Drone Pilot pedigree and applying our MakerLabs magic to the world of construction - lots of test projects and loads of drone tech through our DroneLabs brand.
So, if you are interested in making, have always wanted to learn a new skill, or just want to offer support, I would love to hear from you! Ping me an email or get in touch through social media (I’m an instagram guy, but I’m on twitter and Facebook too!)