The Robot Garage has helped change how people view Birmingham's Rail District and provided a unique outlet for young engineers -- and the parents that love them, but don't always know how to harness their passion -- since opening in 2011.
Now people around the country are taking notice.
JPMorgan Chase recently named the local business among 12 recipients of the its 2013 Mission Main Street Grant. The title comes with a hefty $250,000 reward to help small businesses grow.
The Right StuffBusinesses had to apply for the grants in October and launch online campaigns to garner at least 250 votes in a web-based contest through Chase. The Robot Garage finished with 281. A diverse panel of about a dozen leaders in technology, communications, and non-profit fields then reviewed the applications and rendered their decision last week. Detroit-based Edibles Rex was the only other Michigan business to win a grant.
For those unfamiliar, the Robot Garage offers a wide range of programs and activities, including classes, summer camps, workshops, and special events for LEGO and robotics enthusiasts. Visitors to the 4,400 square foot converted warehouse located on North Eton Street can build and play with thousands of LEGO pieces and toys intended to spark imagination and cultivate a passion for building and creating.
"Thank you so much to our amazing team at The Robot Garage and to all our students, customers, and friends. We are still in disbelief," a post on the Robot Garage Facebook page reads. "This will do so much to turn still unrealized dreams into a reality."