Bio Innovations Gateway

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Bio Innovations Gateway at 2500S State in Salt Lake City. They received a huge grant a few years ago from Ustar to build a state of the art facility to support biotech companies here in Utah.

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They support Utah businesses by providing technical resources and access to equipment and facilities that would otherwise be impossible or extremely expensive to get access to. Their facility includes a clean room, a wet lab, dry lab, and machine shop.

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It’s the type of place that I hope to see ProVolt become in the future.

A look inside

It’s been a while since we posted pictures of the inside of the space, and a lot has changed.

We reorganized the shop area, fixed the light, brought in some of the salvaged wood, and added a plastic ceiling to keep dust out of other areas.

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We set up the wood stove for heat, and insulated most of the windows in the main space. That little lounge is nice and toasty.

Lounge and wood stove

 

Here’s the larger lounge area for meetings and sharing videos on the big screen.

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Public computer area with Mac and Linux machines. There’s the workbench we built with salvaged wood. There are a bunch of tools for working on bikes here as well.

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You’ve got to have the right tools for the job. We have pretty much everything you need for getting into something broken and fixing it.

 

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Exploring boundaries is something we love to do. Pick up a microscope and take a closer look at the things around you.

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And when you need to get things going, try a microcontroller or two or 5.

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I hope you have enjoyed this look inside ProVolt! Come down and see us. There’s almost always something happening every Saturday.

 

Good News Everybody!

We are going to be getting a 3d printer very soon!

We will be getting a ZeniKinetic Origin in the next 2 weeks.

We will also be getting access to cut sheets of metal on this awesome water jet cutter!

Water Jet Cutter
Water Jet Cutter

And Finally, my son did his first electronics project today at ProVolt! He held the soldering iron, and solder himself to put all the parts together!
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Planning Progress

As part of FoundrySLC I’ve been making weekly progress reports on a business I’m starting called Crossies. It’s been so helpful to Crossies, that I’ve decided to use the same methods for ProVolt.

The first part of the Foundry system is the creation of a MOKR (Mission, Objectives, Key Results). Google ventures has a good video about how they use OKRs to keep track of what’s going on in different departments, and to help communicate their goals and focus.

Here is ProVolt’s MOKR (It’s a work in progress)

The second part is the creation of weekly Management Reports that detail what has been done, and what the plans going into the next week are. We share these with the group Friday evenings so that everyone can get up to speed, comment, and give advice on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is ProVolt’s Management Report for this week.

The third part is a Monday Morning Meeting meeting with the other companies to help each other brainstorm their progress, and overcome obstacles that couldn’t be resolved online. I’d like to see our member meetings be helpful like this.

The fourth part is a monthly Project Review for each business to really bring collective knowledge to bear on the business and give good insights into things that may have been overlooked, or need more work. The idea is to rip the business apart, and find it’s weaknesses so these issues can be addressed to make the business stronger.

The Foundry also has a weekly get together with a special speaker or just to socialize and keep in touch once a week.

I hope these documents are interesting, and help you to understand what is going on here at ProVolt!

Quadcopter Flyover

We were lucky enough to have Eric Fowkes stop by with one of his quadcopters. He took some great pictures and video of ProVolt and the surrounding area from the air, which you can see below!

Here’s the closeup.
ProVolt from above

Here’s everything around.
ProVolt from really high

Quadcopter takes off and explores the site.

Rotating and viewing the neighborhood.

Quadcopter landing and a closer view of the camera and gymbal.

Demolition

In the last few days the sheds behind ProVolt have been demolished. A few of us recovered an enormous amount of wood that we will be able to use to build work benches, and for other projects,  as well as for the use of members. Here are a bunch of pictures of the demolition and recovery effort!

I like big beams and I cannot lie.

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Still going…

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The last night on earth for that lonely shed.

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The morning after.

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Roof beams would be nice.

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A little less roof than there was before.

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Big beams in the roof come down.

The last Farewell.

I’m excited to see what we will do with all this stuff.

Giv Groundbreaking

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The Giv Group had it’s groundbreaking today on it’s new mixed use project, Startup Crossing. Mayor Curtis was there, and spoke about the positive changes Provo is experiencing. This area of Provo is poised strategically between the main public transportation hub, and downtown. ProVolt was mentioned several times as an example of the vibrant potential this place holds.

Tour the space

Here are pictures of the space prior to any work being done.

I made a quick floor plan showing the dimensions of the interior rooms.

Floor plan showing interior rooms and dimensions
Floorplan

 

The smaller room has a roof and a place for a sink. It’s not hooked up at the moment. It might be a good place for making PCBs or for 3d printers and laser cutters. The area above may be usable as a loft.small-5

The larger room has some support and could be covered to contain wood and metal dust from a shop.small-4

View to the North showing the main entrance door.small-3

East showing the smaller room and the (possible) crenelated loft.small-1

South-East showing the larger, open topped room.small-0

 

Veiw to the South-West showing the large windows on the West wall, and the double doors leading outside to the South.small-2

The high ceilings and big windows give plenty of light in the daytime. The big beams look strong enough to support some additional weight, and it looks like there used to be a loading crane near the double doors leading outside.

 

The view outside the double doors. Watch that first step! The area to the left of the door might be a good place to experiment with casting metals.

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There was a possibility to use this outdoor 30×30 shed, but it is slated to be demolished.

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View of the area outside the back. There will be construction going on out here as they re-develop this area, so we may be limited on access.small-9

I hope you agree that this space is full of possibilities!