About Empow Labs

About Empow Labs: XR Digital Makerspace

Our Mission

Opening in May 2019, Empow Labs is a collaborative center for learners age 15+, educators, and professionals focused on technologies likely to change the world.

Our focus is to provide opportunities for learning, professional development, and peer networking in the areas of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies, 3D design and modeling, robotics, wearable technology, sensors, IoT (Internet of Things) and human-machine interfaces – areas that hold significant potential for future career opportunities but are difficult fields to start learning because of the cost of equipment and lack of opportunities to be mentored.


Empow Labs has easy access from Rt. 95 and R. 9. We are located within a 10-minute walk from the MBTA Green Line D branch. Our facility offers a 600 sq.ft. space suitable for training, development & testing, focus groups, classes, meetups, hackathons, and other events for up to approximately 20 people. We also have a larger 3,000 sq.ft. space suitable for school field trips, teacher professional development, and other education-related events.

Empow Labs
180 Needham St.
Newton, MA 02464

The Empow Labs Team

Leonid Tunik

Leonid Tunik - Founder at Empow Labs


Leonid comes to Empow Labs with a unique background that combines education, technology product development, and entrepreneurship. He has worked with leading educational publishers to develop math tools and tutorials for award-winning high school and college programs, as well testing and monitoring tools for K-12 teachers working with struggling students. In 2006, recognizing the need to engage students into technology and engineering early on in their education, he began teaching after-school classes in animation and video game design to kids in elementary grades. In 2013, seeing an ever increasing demand from parents and kids, he took this project to the LearnLaunch startup accelerator, and set up a permanent location for camps, classes, and the after-school program in Lexington & Newton, now known as Empow Studios.

David Gutierrez

VP of Operations

Dave realized his passion in working with youth after teaching percussion to individual students and group ensembles at various music outlets while he completed his Bachelors degree in Music Business at UMass-Lowell. Inspired by many artists, podcasters, and friends who live “off-the-beaten-path”, Dave is constantly trying to figure out how to make his career align with his hobbies & interests; it’s not easy! After working at various companies like the Avedis Zildjian Company and Nuance Communications, and performing with the Concord and New England Philharmonic Orchestras, Dave has finally found home at Empow Studios – where everyday he’s working to solve problems, better the community, and engage with the coworkers he calls friends. In his spare time, you can find Dave hanging out with his daughter, hiking with his dog, desperately trying to support Everton FC, and pretending to be an MMA fighter.

David Gutierrez - Marketing Director at Empow Labs

Ed Kunakemakorn

Ed Kunakemakorn - Instructor at Empow Labs

Empow Labs Team Lead, Senior Instructor

Ed is an electrical engineer with training in music technology and media production. Ed is excellent at making the complicated sound simple, which comes in especially handy in explaining music theory and programming. When not teaching or writing curriculum with for Empow Labs, Ed does freelance work in sound engineering and teaches in the computer science and math departments at Suffolk University. The greatest feelings of achievement for him come from seeing his peers turn their ideas into a reality, or when they discover in themselves new levels of creativity or technical understanding.

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