Story excerpt provided by The Columbus Dispatch.
Written by Chloe Teasley.
Once a meticulous metallurgist and now the creator and CEO of Columbus’ “makerspace” — the Idea Foundry — Alex Bandar shines as both. After seeing a vision of an innovative community he longed to join, he got to work creating it. And after years of painstaking work — and many, many cans of beans (more on that later) — the Idea Foundry is humming with activity both upstairs in its business incubator and downstairs in its makerspace.
Bandar explained to Columbus CEO what it took to grow such a place, where he fits in as a leader and why the Foundry can continue to thrive during a time of disruption.
Q: How did the Idea Foundry evolve into what it is today?
A: It started largely as a hobby, and I just wanted it to cover its bills. Then it grew into a side business, then a full-time business. During that evolution, culturally, our management, our staff, community members have had to evolve from a social club to a real, functioning business. In order to be sustainable and keep afloat, that’s meant we’ve needed to make some business pivots but wanted deeply to maintain that same edgy mischievousness that was originally the appeal — and still is.
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Originally published March 25, 2018.