Rusted Grain (Megan’s former woodworking company) and ReUse Action started renting the warehouse that is now The Foundry. There was ample space to invite other entrepreneurs and makers, hold art exhibits and host performances from Bread and Puppet, Torn Space Theater, and Beehive Collective, among others.



Ran a successful crowd-funding Indiegogo campaign to purchase the building (raised $30K), Increased tenants (~10 tenants), Solidified organization’s mission and vision (assisting women and people of color in developing maker businesses, teaching maker skills to youth) and incorporated as a 501c3 in Spring 2013. We started collaborating with Baker Victory Services (after-school youth program) and Buffalo Lab - a technology makerspace that is now The Foundry’s Tech Lab.


Hired co-founder and Executive Director (Megan) and Youth Leader (Sean), offered 60+ workshops for community education with 420+ participants, built 8 new spaces, and housed 20 tenants. We hosted our inaugural Bid to Build Auction and received our first major grant - $100k from First Niagara for building renovations


Partnered with The Service Collaborative/WNY YouthBuild and students built out many of the walls to add 12 more tenant spaces to equal 30 tenants



We started construction on the 2nd floor - repairing the floor. Hired 1st Americorps VISTA (Tamera) and 2 new Youth Leaders, Javon and DQ. We partnered with WEDI to offer additional business services for our tenants and created the Microenterprise Collaborative with WEDI and WBC which now acts as a main convener of business service organizations across WNY. We started a 10-week Woodworking Series, continued to build our list of class offerings for adults, and completed the setup of our Woodshop Makerspace. Decided to merge with Buffalo Lab and really promote makerspaces/memberships


We completed the setup of our Metal, Tech, and Textile spaces. Hired a full-time Education Director, a Relationship Manager, and VISTA Collaborative Business Assistant. We started afterschool program with Health Sciences Charter School and a day-time program with Baker Victory Services that utilizes Title-I funding.


Our capacity grew to serve 235 youth and incubate 35 businesses. We hired an Office Manager (Jen)


A big year where we completed upstairs space for WNY Youthbuild to relocate and added 6 Small Businesses & Staff Offices as well. A ribbon cutting was held with Mayor and other influential people in attendance.


The pandemic! We hired Digital Fabrication Instructor (Amina) and piloted an 18-week advanced manufacturing training for 17-25-year-olds which ended up going virtual due to the pandemic. This was also the year we piloted the youth entrepreneurship afterschool - YEP - program for 10-12th graders, sponsored by Ciminelli Real Estate. We reduced barriers to accessing our space and tools with Open Maker Hours, no longer requiring memberships. The pandemic caused loss of rent so with open spaces we offered free space to “Makers in Residence” where we met Emma who became an instructor and eventually Makerspace Manager.


Launched FOUNDRYmade, our social enterprise that employs young adults


Hired Development Director (Melissa), installed giant tables and benches at Central Terminal


Hired Business Development Director (Tamara) and celebrated 10 years!