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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – 03/04/2013 – Manitoba’s only public fabrication workshop and makerspace, AssentWorks was awarded with $467,000 from the Department of Western Economic Diversification (WD) to enhance its ability to work with entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize new products and processes.

This not-for-profit, volunteer-run facility, founded by Michael Legary, David Bernhardt, and Kerry Stevenson has attracted over $250,000 in advanced manufacturing equipment donations from its sponsors and has made this equipment available to entrepreneurs, makers, artists, students, and hobbyists for an inexpensive membership fee.

Presenting the cheque on Friday on behalf of WD was Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

“This investment will remove barriers for new entrepreneurs who would not otherwise be able to purchase the specialized equipment necessary to undertake the research and development needed to produce new prototypes,” Toews said.

“This contribution has given us access to a new level of capability for Manitoba entrepreneurs to prototype innovative ideas and launch new businesses,” said Michael Legary, AssentWorks Chairman. “AssentWorks is about…supporting new businesses and entrepreneurial activities, not just here in Manitoba but right across Canada.”

AssentWorks recently merged with RampUp Manitoba and invited them to collocate in an expanded 8800sf facility at 125 Adelaide in Winnipeg, close to other community supporters, such as Red River College.

“We’ve crowdsourced volunteers to help us renovate our new office space,” says Chris Johnson, Co-founder of RampUp Manitoba. “This is just one example of the kind of enthusiasm that Winnipeg’s entrepreneurship community has for the creative hub that we are building with AssentWorks and others.”

“AssentWorks and RampUp Manitoba certainly have an excellent story to tell,” said Jan Lederman, Innovate Manitoba President. “The spirit, energy, and enthusiasm demonstrated by these groups embody exactly what Manitoba needs to innovate and prosper.”