TechShop, the chain of membership-based, open access do it yourself workshops and fabrication studios, has unexpectedly shut down all its operations across ten locations in the U.S. The four international locations based out of Tokyo, Abu Dhabi/Dubai, Paris and Lille, France which are owned by overseas entities under license by TechShop will continue to operate.
“We’ve been operating on exceedingly low cash balances for quite some time now. We’ve been trying to do whatever we could to keep the doors open and remain operational so that we could see the light of the next day and hopefully close on a couple of large licensing deals we had been working on. However, the current cash conditions—and the toll they are taking on employees, instructors, and members—are entirely unacceptable,” said TechShop CEO Dan Woods in a statement.
The company has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 which stands for liquidation instead of Chapter 11 which would have permitted TechShop to tidy up its business and streamline its debt.
“Over the past week we have worked tirelessly to explore options for filing Chapter-11 bankruptcy. This alternative would have allowed us to reorganize and restructure our debt. To file Chapter-11, however, we would need cash to pay an even further reduced workforce, instructors, rent, utilities, insurance, and the like. That is money that we simply do not have. I can no longer ask instructors, employees and contractors to work when we do not have adequate cash reserves to pay them. Most regrettably, the only viable path forward is filing Chapter-7,” Woods said.
TechShop was founded in 2006 by Jim Newton and Ridge McGhee. It served as a learning hub for any DIY aficionado who sought to develop industrial skills. For a fee of $100 a month, the company gave access to its tools and machines, and provided safety and basic use training on all its tools and equipment in addition to advanced and special interest classes and workshops.
TechShop was associated with the maker culture and the company participated in annual Maker Faire events
The abrupt closing of the company has made it difficult for thousands of entrepreneurs and artisans to run their businesses as they won’t be able to access the tools and equipments provided by TechShop. Considering the fact that the holiday season is just around the corner, it would be difficult for small businesses to prepare orders or find last minute alternatives.