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GR Makers: A bridge from idea to marketplace

10:37 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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  • Welding at GR Makers
  • Sergio Troiana creator of Kloqe
  • The Kloqe case

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Do you have an invention or idea that you've always wanted to get made but don't know how to do it? Now there is a place for you.

If you can imagine it, there are people at GR Makers in Grand Rapids that can help you build it.

Samuel Bowles, a board member for GR Markers, works in the 3,000 square foot space on Hall Street. Inside, people are welding, cutting boards, and sodding circuit boards. "We have three pillars here at GR Makers we are all about expression, entrepreneurship, and education," explains Bowles.

GR Makers is run much the same way you would run a fitness center. "Just like you would become a member at a gym, you can become a member at GR Makers," explains Bowles. "You get some of the same benefits, you get personal trainers, you get people with expertise on whatever it is you want to accomplish, and you get the tools you need to help you achieve your goals."

The latest project to go from napkin to reality is an all aluminum iPhone case currently finding funding on Kickstarter. It is the dream of Sergio Troiana who say there is a need. "We are looking at Kloqe, the world's first aluminum iPhone case that looks and feels just like your iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S."

Troiana says that he wanted to find a protective case that didn't cheapen an expensive phone, but after looking around he decided it was best to make one himself. Enter GR makers. "After I met with GR Makers, it really showed me how you can take a 3D drawing on the computer and turn it into a physical piece you can hold in your hand," explains Troiana.

The case does come with a steep price tag around $100. The reason is because it is built from a solid piece of aluminum and takes over seven hours to construct. "It's a Cadillac phone case to match your Cadillac phone," explains Troiana. What's the point of buying an expense phone and throwing a cheap case on it?"

For GR Makers, this is one of the first products they hope will have mass appeal. "We see ourselves as a bridge from idea, to execution, to the marketplace and we are excited to have that happen here in Grand Rapids," explains Bowles.

For more information on GR Makers, visit their website.

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