The Brisbane startup ecosystem reached a new milestone this week with the launch of the Arc Hardware Incubator in Fortitude Valley.
Created by Victor Vicario, Arc is a state-of-the-art co-working space specifically designed to help startups develop and commercialise their hardware products. Arc provides everything product designers need to get to create quality prototypes all under the one roof.
The 460m2 incubator occupies the completely restored upstairs space of a pub, which like many Fortitude Valley haunts alternated between a drinking establishment, restaurant, brothel and strip club until the late 1990s.
The only sign of the building's past is the perfect position for the bank of 3D printers behind the bar. Victor said the position actually provides the ideal spot due to location of fridges being directly below the printers where the printer feed stock can be stored in humidity-free conditions and then have an automatic feed through to the printers when required.
"The space works perfectly for us. It's not huge, but there are enough flexible spaces to provide room for events, co-working facilities, meeting rooms, an electronics lab as well as molding machines and laser cutters - providing the whole toolbox for industrial and product designers," Victor said.
The other big plus for Arc is its link to Queensland advanced manufacturing mentors. While the Arc space is new, the industrial design scene in Brisbane is not and bringing the experts together into one centralised location in the heart of Brisbane's startup scene is going to have big benefits for the wider tech community - beyond designers and makers.
Arc Incubator officially launches on February 21.