Rocket Department

Rocket Department received a $50,000 grant to build out their facility and buy much-needed equipment to support the maker community.

Key Accomplishments
Performance Metrics
Key Accomplishments
  • Moved into space by Maker HQ that would accommodate new equipment and fit budget.

  • Hosted Engineering Office Hours to allow individuals with an idea to seek technical advice for making their idea a reality.

  • Purchased laser cutter, compound saw, and shop equipment.

  • Cut costs by manufacturing parts for laser cutter and saw in-house.

  • Continued Engineering Office Hours for projects ranging from manufacturing gag demotivational trophies to a high school sports games ticketing app.

  • Launched Jitterbug Learn to Solder Kits, which very quickly sold out.

  • Purchased CNC machine, welder, and safety equipment.

  • Plumbed facility for air to be able to access compressed air for future projects such as setting up pneumatic equipment.

  • Built a prototype onboarding kiosk for Uber.

  • Got CNC machine running.

  • Shipped 5000th Learn to Solder Kit.

  • With remaining funds, purchased a ceiling-mounted air filter along with shop tools, components, and sensors for prototyping.

  • Installed five onboarding kiosks for Uber in various malls throughout the state.

  • Chosen as a Creative Economy Pilot Project grantee for connected art installation.

  • Working out deals to have Learn to Solder Kits available for retail.

Performance Metrics



Square Feet of Space Occupied



Products Shipped



Products Designed/Prototypes Built


Office Hours Held


Startups/Entrepreneurs Advised



Rocket Department used their funds to furnish and build out their workshop. Their company is less focused than Hacker Lab on education and classes, and is more focused on providing a space for local entrepreneurs can come and build prototypes or complete their projects on Rocket Department’s equipment rather than having to supply their own. The RAILS grant allowed Rocket Department to expand their operations and capacity to support these individuals and bring in business for their own engineering projects such as their partnership with Uber for onboarding kiosks.