Are you ready to invent?

Hank Hayes • Mar 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT — A wooden ribbon was sawed in two Friday to mark the grand opening of what could make the city the business startup capital of Tennessee.

The Inventor Center — a new community space for Kingsport’s creators, makers and artists of all kinds — is open for business.

“I love this story because this is a Kingsport story to me,” said Mayor John Clark, who donned safety glasses to cut the ribbon.

More festivities will happen at the Inventor Center on Saturday with classes taught by YouTube influencers, and an open house will occur on Sunday.

Those YouTube DIY stars include Izzy Swan, Johnny Brooke, Fred Sexton and Nathan Elliot

Located at 118 Shelby St., the Inventor Center adds to Kingsport’s developing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Places like the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Streamworks, D-B Excel, SyncSpace and now the Inventor Center give residents a place to learn new skills, foster community or build a business.

Inside the location are specialty wood and metal shops. Classes including painting, woodworking and photography will be taught by professional instructors.

The Inventor Center comes from a public-private partnership led by the City of Kingsport with Engage Kingsport and the Model City Makerspace. The new facility provides makers the space to develop a variety of skills under various member plans.

“We’ve had a team of people dedicated to pulling this space together,” said Heath Guinn, SyncSpace founder and president of the Model City Makerspace. “In projects like this, there’s always someone who really steps up and carries the heaviest weight, and that’s our executive director, Mars Reid.”

To join the Inventor Center, go to www.theinventorcenter.com/membership.

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