Another Make48 competition is in the books! Our fourth Make48 event was held at the Kansas City Art Institute on October 28-30, 2016. There were 17 teams from all over the country in attendance and it couldn’t have been a better competition. The big difference between this event and ones in the past, is that the 3 winners’ products will be taken to market! This is unheard of in invention competitions and everyone is excited to showcase this for a television series that will air in the summer of 2017. The competition kicked off on Friday with the opening ceremony. It started off with three speakers, all industry experts who spoke about various topics. Mikal Belicove from Entrepreneur Magazine discussed why strategy is so important to understand. Next, Denise Sylvester from the United States Patent and Trademark Office spoke about how easy it is to obtain a patent.
Lastly, Aaron Deacon from KC Digital Drive spoke about his experience in the digital world and how it can relate to Make48. After all our speakers, the challenge theme was finally announced. The teams did not know the challenge beforehand, so they were excited for the announcement. The 17 teams had to create… an Innovative Household product! It had to be something that could be used inside the four walls of the home: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and garage. Something new we introduced this year was having team mentors! Our friends from Wet & Forget and Squatty Potty mentored the teams throughout the entire process.
Their experience came in handy when the teams had questions regarding the type of product, creating their prototype, and how to market it. The teams were off brainstorming and even started to use the Ultimaker 3D printers, Epilog lasers, and ShopBot tools Friday night! Saturday morning came quick, and the teams got ready to go on a supply run at 7 am to Westlake Ace Hardware. They were given a $200 gift card to get anything they needed to create their product or showcase it during the pitches. Teams purchased anything from plastic pipes to wood for their product. A team even bought a toilet for their display! After the supply run, teams worked hard until the focus groups that afternoon. The focus groups were an important part of the competition because it marked hour 24 of the competition. Teams pitched their idea or product to a panel of industry experts and received feedback. Some chose to use that feedback and some did not. Saturday flew by, and the teams were hard at work all through the night. As Sunday approached, the teams were finalizing their pitches and product videos. Included in the pitch was a presentation of the product, a 1-minute video, and Q&A with the judges. They had to fit all of that into 8 minutes! When the 48-hour clock hit zero, the teams gathered around to present their products to the audience and panel of judges. Judges included QVC, Indiegogo, The Handy Camel, and Pivot International.
All 17 inventions were amazing and could be used inside the home. The judges had a tough time deciding which three products would be taken to market. Here are the winners: First- G-Code Second- Hatch Innovations Third- Marquee Design Best Presentation– KC Space Pirates People’s Choice Award for best product- G-Code Overall, this event at the Kansas City Art Institute was a very special one and it went off without a hitch. You will be able to see the journey of the event and the innovative products being taken to market on the television series airing next year.