Another season is in the Make48 books! We’d like to thank all our schools for participating at our first College v. College competition. It was a first for many of us, including the first year Make48 was hosted by Stanley Black and Decker. From August 10-12, our teams worked all weekend at the Stanley Black & Decker Maker Space. Tylan Tschopp from Stanley told us “It was exciting to see it here in our Maker Space. To see the teams that Bob Welsh leads on our side and the first class team that Make48 brings with them, seeing those two high functioning teams work together it was exciting.”
This year we hosted 12 teams from 12 different colleges; from the University of Nevada-Reno to Georgetown to Rice University and everywhere in between. We began the season with checking in all the teams, introducing them to our tool techs and they were given a safety lesson from Bob Welsh, V.P. of Breakthrough Innovation at Stanley Black and Decker. Our tool techs provided assistance for the teams on 3d printing, CNC machining, welding and woodworking. Most of the students had experience working with many of the tools that were provided. Luis, tech for Ultimaker, noted their skills, “It was amazing because they were the most skilled as far as CAD work. I don’t think many of the Tool Techs actually did any CAD for them, many of them brought designs to us.” Later that afternoon our patent and trademark attorneys, Chris DeBacker and Andrea Evans, met with the teams and throughout the weekend. Andrea, who attended last season, expressed, “What really shocked me, is that because they were so young, I thought their inventions would be more simple, but they were so smart and some of them are just graduating. They really exceeded my expectations with the inventions.”
The patent attorneys visited with every team to make sure that each team’s idea didn’t infringe on any current product on the marketplace. As the night winded down, our guests left the students to their inventing.
Saturday morning we gathered at the Maker Space at 7 am, where Curt discussed the Ace supply run and the teams were given a $200 gift card to buy their materials. As soon as we pulled up to the hardware store, it was a full-on rush inside. Maya Schultz, our merchandising representative from Ace told us “I can’t wait to find out what their prototypes look like with the supplies they’re buying in store. It’s always good to see that creativity get unleashed from various parts they found in a hardware store.” After the hour limit, our group was back on the bus.
After returning from the supply run, the teams quickly convened and pressed forward with their products. The mentors for the teams included the following industry veterans: Adam, Brett, and Teresa from Wet & Forget, Joanne and Ryan from The Grommet, and Brian from Pivot International. Teresa Fugatt, from Wet & Forget, has attended previous competitions and understands the stress the teams are under, “they’re coming into it (competition) without as much life experience, so it’s interesting to see how they handle some of that but they bring a fresh, naive attitude, so I think they’re a little bit more open to things.” Most of our experts have worked with Make48 teams in previous seasons and understood the process the teams have to endure. And as the day got shorter, the teams stayed longer and longer until 2, 3 and even 4 am.
The tool techs were in much demand Sunday morning as the clock ticked down and teams scrambled to finish their products. Our teams also had to get their video presentations ready, with help from Talking Tree Creative. And when the clock hit 12:00 pm, the whistle blew, announcing the end of the competition.
Sunday evening, judging was held at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Surrounded by the history and inventions of Baltimore, it was a fitting place to hold the finale of the competition. I can’t reveal who won, but we were impressed by ALL the teams and the work they did in 48 hours! We can’t thank everyone enough for the work they put in to make this competition a success.
Season 3 won’t be available until 2019 but stay tuned for Season 2 when it airs this fall!