About Us

Why CANopener Labs?

CANopener Labs is a fully-equipped prototyping and development space. Our experienced in-house inventors and builders guide you through designing, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing your products. ‘CAN’opener, because we ‘CAN, you CAN!’ Let our growing experience and relationships with various factories, manufacturers, and suppliers give you that needed leg up to turn your dreams into a real product. Connections range from local all the way across the globe.

We CAN help!

Meet The Team

Drue Placette
Co-Founder
(Emerging Tech)
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Named a Tech Titan by the San Antonio Business Journal and a VIP Geek by Geekdom, Drue Placette is most at home at technology's bleeding edge. He helps companies predict the future of their markets and leverage emerging technologies to get there. 

Dale Bracey
Co-Founder
(Design)
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Dale is the team's design mind.  He combines decades of knowledge as a hardware architect, a solutions architect, and a product designer with the aesthetic sensibilities of an award-winning visual artist. Technology is about human experience, and entrepreneurs ignore design at their peril.

Nick Ramos
Associate
(Biz-Dev / Sales)
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Nick is an Innovator, Strategist and Serial Entrepreneur. In the Medical, Technology, and many other industries. Nick has raised over $5M in Investments from Grants, Private Equity, and Angel investors. His focus is in Business Development, Strategy, and Investments.

Our Story

How did we get here?

Between 2016 and 2017, we began building a free-to-use (sponsored by us) community space for others to get hands-on access and experience with tools and services they otherwise wouldn’t at home. From 3D printing to vinyl cutting; broken phone and laptop self-repair; to server and network stack access… the community had access to the tools to learn, do, and grow.

In 2017, we moved to a space in Geekdom (a Downtown San Antonio co-working and tech incubator) to provide those services to the growing community within. This space, known as "DoLab", was also sponsored by us and provided for free use to members of Geekdom. All we asked in return was for everyone to give a portion of their time back into the community to teach and help others from their own learned knowledge and experience. Our end goal and vision was for this space to be taken over by and operated by the community that helped to grow it.

During this period, we began the hunt for a much larger community space to build into. This search took us over to Port San Antonio; where we toured some pretty intense and massive industrial buildings. They were incredible and a maker/builders dream! One just happened to be where the M1-A1 Abrams Tank jet engines were built and tested! IT WAS AMAZING! This is where we were introduced to David Monroe and his San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology. Our ideologies and plans had plenty of synergies. At that moment, we decided to team up to help grow his museum along with assisting in the beginning process of developing plans for what will become the Tech Port Innovation Center. Unfortunately, we didn't settle on a building at that time, but we still have a blast working with David on his other projects! (Psst, you should look him up! Chances are, you are carrying one of his inventions in your pocket right now! Hint: It is like a very small computer and takes photos that can be sent wirelessly to another one.)

Fast forward a bit, the DoLab space has been handed over to the Geekdom Community and named “Geekdom Labs”. We couldn’t be happier and more proud of what this has become. They even left our names on the door; along with many of the others that came after. We are beyond honored... So, what to do with the DoLab name and next facility?

Demand to render paid services, for others looking for more than figuring it out themselves, has been pouring in for some time now. We haven’t been able to keep up with demand from our small space(s) and decided it was time to grow into a larger space. With roughly 6000 sq/ft of indoor space and a large yard for working in, we now can accomplish much more and larger works. It doesn’t end there. We have big plans to continue to expand into additional buildings over time. Additionally, with our continued efforts to collaborate with others, it is our hope to aid those that grow with us in finding affordable spaces of their own through various partnerships we hold.

So, about that DoLab name again? Yea… we decided to change things up a bit and rebrand. Can Opener was a name one of our Co-Founders was holding onto for years. We all agreed it was quirky and perfect for us. The rebrand commenced and we moved forward with grabbing the new larger space. Here we are… time to get rocking and rolling!

​Keep an eye out on our Social Feeds as well. We plan to do more than help people build products. There will be countless events and promotions to help lift and promote members of our startup and small business communities. Let’s get San Antonio back to its roots… A Manufacturing and Fabrication City! Tech it out, folks!

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 Address. 1235 Safari, San Antonio, Texas 78216   |   Tel. ‪(210) 370-7673‬   |   Email. hi@canopenerlabs.com

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