How AMT is different from a service bureau or contract facility

AMT has a variety of different types of members. We have hobbyists, artists, students, entrepreneurs and small business people. We have members who are a little bit of all of these things at once. We have conversations every so often about what kind of org are we when we are weighted more one way than another. So we are going to take a stab at describing how we are different from service bureau’s and contract facilities in a Q&A format.

Base definitions

Service bureau provide services for a fee (PSPrint, Ponoko, etc).

One can rent space/equipment in an contract facility for a contracted fee (example: commercial kitchens).

AMT is neither of those things. AMT is a member based non-profit organization dedicated to education and make culture. AMT can also be described as furthering those goals by having a shared workspace and tools.


Q:Do we want to foster and support business incubation in our community?

A: Yes. We don’t police the motivations behind folks joining AMT as long as it is to make, teach, or learn. If you are doing those three things as a hobbyist great. If you are doing any of those three things as a entrepreneur that is great too.


Q: Is fostering and incubating businesses our primary reason for being here or how we are structurally set up?

A: No. We are here to help people make things, help people help each other to make things and to learn.


Q: Can you work on your small business or incubate your start up here?

A: Yes, as an individual member with all the rights and responsibilities of a member. AMT’s relationships are with individuals who make, teach or learn. AMT as an entity does not offer memberships to businesses. That would be contrary to our mission and reason for existing. We don’t offer membership or create contract relationships with business entity’s because that would endanger our 501(c) status*.

*At some time in the future we may be able to engage in a fiduciary relationship with other organizations that have a mission to make, teach or learn such as the public library or other non-profits, but that would require research and lawyering.


Q: Does working on your small business or incubating your start-up change your membership?

A: Nope. Membership is offered to individuals. Those individuals get the same privileges (guests, tool use). They also have the same obligations as individuals… pay your dues, follow the rules, mind your guests, keep things clean, be responsible for what you use, etc, participate. Expectations should also not change just because you are in individual who happens to be working on a business. Expect this to be a community space built by the good will of the folks who volunteer their time and expertise.