Just 2 months ago TechShop closed all its locations. For me, and probably many of you, it seems much longer. This has been a negotiation with many ups and downs. I believe dreams realized and value created at TechShop are worth the effort. TechShop is more than a company, it is a family. I have heard stories about the friendships formed between members, instructors and local employees that go beyond the company called TechShop.
In an ideal world, I would love to give you all the details of what is going on. Unfortunately, in the real world that play by play reporting of the negotiations can be detrimental to the process. I have only been able to give you general information on the negotiations.
One of the lowest points in this deal was the day the TechShop 1.0 board canceled the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Leading up to the cancellation the secured debt had been negotiated and the memorialization process had started. Unfortunately both the negotiation and legal process has been slower on the second go around.
This is a complicated transaction with many of the documents coming from people outside the TechShop organization, leading to far more meetings than what you would normally expect. Every one of these meetings results in more documents to review and uncovers more missing documents that must be tracked down and dealt with. At times the new documents have added a new wrinkle into the process of reopening the shops.
Something to keep in mind is that Techshop 2.0 will be a new company. It is not a reorganization. Even though that is the case there are many things that I want to try to honor. The back pay of the employees and instructors along with prepaid memberships. While in an ideal world everyone is made whole, there will be people who don’t receive what they paid into TechShop. This is unfortunate, but we did not cause the value imbalance.
One place that there has been very little news is about the many of you that made investments in TechShop 1.0. While we appreciate your past investments in the maker movement, TechShop 2.0 has to be a viable business. If it does not make enough to pay for employees, maintain and replace equipment it is not viable. We will be offering a discounted membership for past investors in TechShop.
As I have said before, there is much to talk about regarding the future of each shop, but until the deals are done I want to stay focused on finalizing the transactions and getting everything in place to reopen the shops. If you are interested in working or teaching at the new Tech Shop please apply on our website. www.techshop2.com
In closing I want to remind everyone that this is not a done deal yet. Until all the agreements are signed anything can happen. Having said that I hope to meet every one of you when we open your local TechShop 2.0 soon.