How TechShop DC-Arlington Enabled a High School Senior to Start a Business

November 17, 2014

2:30 pm

On Tuesday, November 18, Tech Cocktail is holding TechShop’s DC Maker Event: Learn How to Build & Launch a Hardware Product Company where attendees can learn about the Maker Movement, explore TechShop DC-Arlington‘s various tools and resources, and speak with industry experts and current TechShop members.

Tomorrow night, November 18, TechShop DC-Arlington is having a DC Maker Event which will focus on educating the community on how they can take advantage of resources like TechShop to build and launch their very own hardware companies. As part of the event, RebelDesk’s Jeff Hale and Riide’s Amber Wason will join us to speak about their own experiences with starting their own hardware product companies. At Tuesday night’s event, attendees will additionally get the opportunity to meet and interact with some of TechShop DC-Arlington’s members. One of those members is 17-year-old high school senior Adontis Atkins, Jr.

“When I was younger, I was disappointed with the performance  of the [Nerf] guns, and once I got old enough to do something about it, I hit the ground running,” said Atkins. “It’s like having a double life – with the respect of an adult outside of school [and] with its associated responsibilities.”

adontis-atkins-jrAtkins joined TechShop DC-Arlington this past June and has since launched a customization company called 3205 Customs. For someone who is still in high school, getting involved in TechShop has really paid off for him. Through 3205 Customs, Atkins modifies store-bought Nerf guns and, essentially, makes them cooler (you can check out his impressive work on his Instagram account). Atkins adds, though, that he has branched off into things outside of Nerf gun customization, like laser engraving and silk screening, as well as acid-washing clothing.

Prior to joining TechShop, Atkins already had some previous skills, but the resources and classes offered at Techshop DC-Arlington enabled him to take those skills to greater heights. Through its community alone, Atkins admits that he’s gained so much and has learned of possibilities that he never thought possible. For others out there in the community who are interested in making something, he gives the following advice:

“If you’re interested in tech shop or [if] you have an idea or a dream that you want to see become a reality, you have to have drive and dedication. Unfortunately, drive cannot be taught and oftentimes others cannot see your dreams; it’s up to the individual [to] establish dreams and goals, and [to] determine how hard they’re willing to work to accomplish them. You have to find what drives you. Even when the  tank is empty and there is no money in the bank.”

Make sure to buy your tickets now to TechShop’s DC Maker Event: Learn How to Build & Launch a Hardware Product Company and meet other TechShop members like Adontis Atkins, Jr.! Additionally, if you’re interested in exploring TechShop Arlington-DC’s 22,000 square-foot space (featuring things like a wood shop, metal shop, and electronics lab), stop by before the event or stay late after – tours will be held at 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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