180 Needham St. Newton, MA 02464

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.

Paul Girardo

Director, Empow Labs

Paul is a software engineer and maker with a Computer Science degree from NJIT. He has worked in a variety of research and commercial companies developing augmented reality applications, immersive mixed reality, vehicle simulations, 3D visualizations using the Unity game engine as well as human computer interaction and technical training. He enjoys working on and teaching all types of science and technology, especially combining technologies with a team to create useful and cool new stuff. Teaching experience includes being the Program Chair for Digital Entertainment and Game Design degree at the college level. Paul is an avid fan of circuit bending old electronics and toys, hiking in Acadia and creating electronic music.

Paul Girardo - Director at Empow Labs

David Gutierrez

David Gutierrez - Marketing Director at Empow Labs

Marketing Director

Dave brings marketing and sales experience from his time with the historic Zildjian cymbal company, Nuance Communications, and Empow Studios. Dave realized his passion in education after teaching percussion at various music outlets to individual students and group ensembles while he completed his Bachelors degree in Music Business at UMass-Lowell. David is responsible for all things marketing at Empow Labs. In his spare time, Dave enjoys watching his daughter grow, supporting Everton Football Club, and hiking with his dog.

Ed Kunakemakorn

Senior Instructor

Eddy is an electrical engineer with training in music technology and media production. Eddy 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, Eddy 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.

Ed Kunakemakorn - Instructor at Empow Labs

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