Maker Fund


UPDATE: Application submissions have officially ended!


The purpose of the Montgomery County Maker Fund is to provide support to makerspaces in the County by providing financial assistance to cover programming or equipment. Requests must be less than $10,000. This pilot program is meant to strengthen the makerspace ecosystem in the County and better understand how making and small-scale manufacturing can improve educational and economic development outcomes. A recorded informational webinar was held on September 7, 2016 to address further questions (link to webinar).

Please review the following instructions carefully. The application process is as follows:

  1. Complete Online Application: The online application is required for all applicants. Applications are due by September 30th, 2016. The application asks for general contact information of the applicant and the organization (including EIN number), as well as the following short answer questions:
    • Briefly describe what support/equipment you need for your makerspace (500 word max)
    • Where will the equipment be used or where will the program be offered? (100 word max)
    • Briefly describe the target audience of your makerspace (250 word max)
    • If requesting support to purchase equipment, please describe your ability to successfully operate this equipment and train others how to use it. If requesting support for training or programs, please provide information on your qualifications (250 word max)
  2. Review Process: Once your application is received you will receive a confirmation email. Please save this email as verification of submission. Once the application has been screened for completeness, your application will be scored based on the following criteria:
    • Need for the program or equipment in the community based on proximity to similar programs (20 points)
    • Proximity of the proposed equipment/program to a community of need as defined in attached MAP. (20 points)
      ***This criteria may also be met if 50% or more program participants are eligible for free or reduced lunch meals.
    • Target audience or population (20 points)
    • Qualifications and ability of the applicant to successfully maintain the equipment or administer the program/training (15 points)
    • Relevance or usefulness of the equipment/training in a makerspace environment (20 points)
    • Ability of the applicant to match the funding (or a percentage thereof) provided through the Maker Fund to maximize impact (5 points)
  3. Award Notification: All applicants will receive email notification to inform them if they have been awarded funds. Awardees will need spend the awarded funds before June 30th, 2017. The awardee will need to provide proof that the funds were spent as described in the application. The Montgomery County Innovation Program will verify this at a later date. Detailed instructions on how to receive the funds will be provided in the award notification.

We understand that a makerspace can take various shapes and serve different purposes. During this iteration of the Maker Fund, we will be focused on funding training and equipment that enhances technology oriented maker environments that create hands-on opportunities. The Maker Fund is not meant to fund projects such as community kitchens, sewing or knitting classes, graphic design or arts programs, or coding classes (except when coding Raspberry Pi devices or robots).

Application submissions have officially ended!