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May 6: SouthWorks MakerLab grand opening, featuring product innovation, 3-D printing and new digital

Please join us for a special event:

Grand Opening of SouthWorks MakerLab in Park Forest  Featuring product innovation, 3-D printing and new digital tools Wednesday, May 6, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Freedom Hall/ Nathan Manilow Theatre 410 Lakewood Blvd Park Forest, IL 60466 RSVP here. Download the invitation here.

For questions, contact: Monica DeLord at (708) 283-5617 or

The Village of Park Forest in partnership with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC), recently won a competition sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a $50,000 grant from the Growth Accelerator Fund. The SBA received 832 applications for this competition nationwide, and only awarded 50 grants, two in Illinois. The goal of the Growth Accelerator Fund is to assist business accelerators with their mission to support start-ups to grow, become commercially viable, and have real and sustained economic impact. The winners are focused in areas where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The initial acquisition of equipment for the Park Forest Maker Space includes two 3-D printers, a laser cutter, an electronics lab, and computers and design software. The goal of the Maker Space will be to enable users to create prototypes of new products that can then be marketed for larger production and sale. The Maker Space will also provide a program of courses and workshops that will educate the members about production, marketing, patents, and other key issues involved in

the manufacturing process. At this time, the Maker Space is co-located with OAI, Inc., a new downtown tenant at 214 Forest Boulevard, because staff of OAI will be managing the Maker Space until funds are available to hire staff that can be dedicated to the project.

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