PACE teams up with MAKE48


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 HardwareThey 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.20161029_171146

Walk of Fame

Mr. Guerrera has enjoyed National Media exposure. He has recently been nominated by LMJ as one of the top 25 Lean Experts in the world. He has been featured on Good Morning America Shark Tank and was the MC of the Shark Tank panel for the MAKE48 competition hosted by the Smithsonian Lemelson Center in Washington DC. He was featured with Christina Tosi of Fox’ TV hit series MasterChef. He participated in a Good Morning America National Commercial campaign featuring anchors Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, Ginger Zee, Lara Spencer, Michael Strahan, Jessie Palmer and hip-hop singer Flo-Rida. Interviewed by Good Morning America’s meteorologist Ginger Zee as part of the GMA Sunshine moment, served as a key Shark Tank panelist for the MAKE48 moderated by Stephen Key, interviewed by Kathy Ireland for her Modern Living national syndicated television show, interviewed by Michael King of Home Talk, featured alongside Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop Show, interviewed by Amy Coveno ABC’s WMUR news anchor for NH Chronicle, featured alongside of Mike Otis for CNY @home, featured on the front page of the Syracuse NY Post Standard Business news, interviewed by Mike Morin as the featured spot light for New Hampshire Business Review and is engaged with the History Channels Operation build “game changers”. He has products displayed at recent trade shows alongside such household name products as Scrub Daddy®, Squatty Potty®, Paint Brush Cover®, Drop Stop®, and ReadeRest®, all products that have achieved mass distribution & sales after their appearance on the reality TV series ‘Shark Tank.


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Guerrera MCs SHARK TANK Panel

Make48 October 2016, Sponsor Spotlight


Make48 is not only a 48-hour invention competition, but a networking event as well. Teams get to interact with people from the invention and entrepreneurial world. One of those executives is CEO, Chris Guerrera, another Make48 sponsor, PACE Systems. Guerrera has over 32 years of experience in Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing and Executive Management. I am a strong leader with expertise in building successful teams and developing “business athletes.” Take a look at the behind the scenes of PACE and how Guerrera is involved in Make48.

Guerrera’s PACE system is a proprietary Lean 6 sigma manufacturing system that can be used in your business or your everyday life. A popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing, and that’ not true. Lean applies in every business and every process. According to Guerrera “it is not a tactic or a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for an entire organization.”PACE’s core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste through the use of Lean techniques. Simply, PACE creates more value for customers with fewer resources. A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. So, what is the ultimate goal when using PACE? “Provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value stream process that has zero waste.”

So, how did Guerrera come up with this innovative program? Being in the business for over 30 years he has seen a great deal of manufacturing operations in the USA and abroad that he finds all have similar problems within their organization. So, after having worked in such an environment he decided to develop a system that can easily be adapted to any industry quickly, and achieve bottom line results for both the company and its employees while building a motivated culture.Guerrera met Make48 CEO Tom Gray during a Corporate event at the Walmart home office in Bentonville, Arkansas for their Made in America initiative. They got to talking and soon enough Guerrera was on his way to his first ever Make48 competition. Since then, Guerrera has emceed our Shark Tank All Star panel in Washington D.C. and also sponsored a team as well, they placed third!


The Make48 Team

Fox MasterChef Christina Tosi with PACE CEO Christopher Guerrera

Christina TosiCHRISTINA TOSI of MasterChef on FOX’ Television hit series is the chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar, called “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by Bon Appétit magazine, with multiple locations in New York, one in Toronto and one in Washington, DC, near Christina’s hometown. Christina founded the dessert programs at Momofuku and went on to build a culinary empire of her own. Well known for “stoking apostolic fervor,” she opened Milk Bar’s doors in 2008 and has changed the face of baking with her innovative creations like cereal milk™ ice cream, compost cookies® and crack pie®.


The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius described by The New York Times as a “border crossing pastry chef” is a two-time James Beard award winner, Crain’s New York 40 under 40 honoree and the author of two highly acclaimed cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life. Momofuku Milk Bar highlights the cult favorites from the Milk Bar kitchen, and Milk Bar Life captures Milk Bar’s fun-loving culture and off-the-clock recipes that are easy to make at home. Christina is a role model to her team of over 200 and is also a big believer in giving back. The highly motivated lady boss serves on the Board of Directors for Hot Bread Kitchen and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and is an adviser and investor in a handful of food startups, including the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), Journee and Maple. Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior (on Fox), playing an integral role in mentoring and making home cooks’ dreams come true.

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Christina has made headlines in top publications and television programs, including the Wall Street Journal, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan and the TODAY Show, has graced the covers of AdWeek and Cherry Bombe and was named one of the most innovative women in food and drink by Food & Wine and Fortune Magazine for her tremendous work ethic and creative ingenuity. Her unstoppable and free-spirited approach to life and inspiring achievements make her one of the most well-rounded and desirable chefs in the world.

Night out with ROB THOMAS

Rob Thomas
“…he’s still the consummate pop-rock craftsman who has been making it all sound so smooth for years.” Rolling Stone–August 2016


Rob Thomas is one of modern music’s most compelling and commercially successful artists. For 20 years, he has been the frontman and primary composer for Matchbox Twenty, leading the quintet to multiplatinum success over the course of four albums and a string of No. 1 hits that include “Push,” “3AM,” “Bent,” “If You’re Gone,” and “Unwell.” Thomas’ two solo albums, 2005’s platinum-certified No. 1 album …Something To Be and 2009’s cradlesong generated the hit singles “Lonely No More,” “This is How A Heart Breaks,” “Her Diamonds” and “Someday. Thomas made history with “…Something to Be” as having the first album by a male artist from a rock or pop group to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since the chart had debuted. With cradlesong he made history once again as the only male artist with multiple #1 hits at Adult Top 40, tieing Pink with most #1s by a solo artist in the chart’s history.

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Then there’s Thomas’ collaborations with iconic artists like Mick Jagger on the #1 single “Disease”, Willie Nelson, and Santana, the latter resulting in 1999’s “Smooth” — the Latin-tinged blockbuster that earned Thomas three Grammy Awards and spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It was also named the No. 2 Hot 100 Song of All Time and #1 of the Rock era. Overall, Thomas has contributed to sales of more than 80 million records. In 2004, he was the first-ever honoree of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, created to recognize a composer in the early years of his or her career that has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI.


Thomas is also known as an electrifying live performer, drawing fans of all ages to Matchbox Twenty’s concerts as well as to his solo shows around the globe. “After 20 years, I still get excited when I go on the road,” he says. “The sound of the bus before it pulls out. The idea of waking up in a new city every day,not knowing what the day will bring. It’s the best part of what I do. Seeing new faces every night. Sharing the music. It’s what keeps me doing it. It’s the greatest job in the world.”

When you ask Thomas what accounts for his stratospheric success, his reply is earnest and thoughtful, just like his music. “Part of me feels like it’s because I am exactly like the people who listen to my music,” he says. “I’ve never written songs that speak to a particular group of disenfranchised youth. I’m not super-political. I just write songs about people and how they relate to each other. I think that’s something that is universal to everybody. And I think also, over the years, I’ve learned how to write a good melody, which is an easy thing to say about myself because I feel like it’s the thing I’m good at. If your car breaks down and I’m with you, you’re screwed. I can’t fix your stereo. I’m not really that good at math. There’s nothing else I do super well except for write songs. But I can say, ‘Listen, this is what I do. I’ve worked 20 years at it nonstop, 16 hours a day some days.’”


The majority of the tracks on The Great Unknown were produced by Thomas’ longtime producer Matt Serletic but for this album Rob also chose to work with some outside songwriters, including Ryan Tedder (first single “Trust You”), Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed (“Absence of Affection”), Cirkut & AG (“I Think We’d Feel Good Together”), and Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta (“One Shot”). Of choosing to collaborate, Thomas says: “I figured, one, I’d never done it before, which are my favorite words to say, and two, the writers were people like Ryan Tedder, who is one of the most prolific songwriters in the world right now.”

“I also thought, ‘What if I it wasn’t about trying to see what I could pull off alone or prove anything other than trying to make a great record?’” Thomas adds. “Every time you make a solo record, there’s an element of trying to get something off your chest because it’s just you dealing with yourself. Doing it this way, when I looked at the blank page, I wasn’t looking at the same old shit. Everything wasn’t going to come from the same place.”

The result is a collection of songs that range from amped-up pop (“Trust You,” “One Shot,” “I Think We’d Feel Good Together” and “Hold on Forever”) to quieter, more reflective moments (“The Great Unknown,” and the piano and string-driven ballad ”Pieces”). “If you’re one of the five people left in the world who still listen to an entire record, I want you to be able to play it from start to finish and there’s a ride there,” he says. “There’s ups and there’s downs. There’s a little bit of everything happening, just like my CD collection. I think because Matt is such a good producer, he can shift effortlessly between all these different styles and not think twice about it. I can’t throw him a curve ball that blows him away. I think that gives the album an even more diverse listening experience all the way through.”

Lyrically, Thomas found himself pondering the theme of bad decisions on The Great Unknown. “It wasn’t on purpose,” he says, “but songs like ‘Wind It Up,’ ‘Heaven Help Me,’ and ‘I Think We’d Feel Good Together,’ are in some way about being right on the precipice of making a horrible decision and being okay with it. ‘Trust You’ is about that friend everyone has, who, no matter how stable you are, will call you up, you’ll go out, and it’ll be four in the morning and you’ve wound up in some weird Thai bar playing Russian roulette. You don’t know how you got there, but all of a sudden, you’re Frank from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia down in the basement with a towel wrapped around your head.”

Thomas may be light-hearted about his propensity for revelry, but when it came time to name the album, he was inspired by one of its more emotional tracks, “The Great Unknown”. “My wife Marisol has been dealing with a lot of health problems and I was amazed at how strong and resilient she is,” he says. “I realized that I had written songs about her like, ‘Ever The Same’ and ‘Her Diamonds’ and they almost paint her in a victim light, and I didn’t like that. It was important to me to write a song that shows how strong she is.” When Thomas played Marisol the song, she suggested it be the album’s title. “She said, ‘Because any endeavor you go into is the great unknown. Your motive, your intention, and your purpose are the only things you can control. Whatever is going to happen when it’s done, you have no hand in.’ It’s funny, success is really only 50 percent up to you.”

Thomas will take those odds as he gears up to release The Great Unknown, his third solo album and first in six years. “I think every time I make a record, the only thing I realize about myself is that I’m so completely not finished yet,” he says. “I haven’t gone, ‘Well, there you go. You’ve done it.’ I hope to God I never do.”