Designers and engineers from MAKO Design + Invent have provided their expert guidance for our teams during season 2. Kevin Mako, the President of MAKO Design + Invent, has been a part of that team to make the Wedgy, the first place winner, a store-shelf product. With offices in both the US and Canada, their industrial design company helps create products with both short and long timelines. So what did Kevin think when our Co-founder/CEO, Tom Gray, asked him to work in a 48-hour competition? We asked Kevin this and some questions about their company and what steps inventors need to take.
“MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing small product businesses and early-stage invention startups. With a 25-person team across 4 offices (Austin, London, Toronto, and soon Florida), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services” Kevin explained to me, “To assist our start-up inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. We offer world-class design and engineering services tailored to home inventors. Our designers come with impressive resumes, previously designing at places like Dell, Nike, Bose, Bowing, and MIT, and bring their innovative, global knowledge to home inventors for affordable development.”
One of their client’s is the popular Moonlite, A Bedtime Story Projector for your phone. Their Kickstarter launch and Indiegogo campaign were hugely successful, collectively raising nearly $1,000,000! They also won the People’s Choice Award for Best Industrial Design, an international design competition based out of London, UK.
“Mako will help with everything from concept design, product design, prototyping, electrical design and engineering, mechanical design and engineering, patent referrals, and manufacturing logistics. Basically, clients come to us with an idea in their head, and we take them through every stage of the development cycle right through to mass manufacturing.”
Make48 & MAKO Design + Invent
Our team visited Kevin and his team, earlier this year in Austin, Texas with Team D.a.D and their winning design, The Wedgy. The MAKO team re-designed the original Wedgy prototype and went through the design process step-by-step, with our team, to show the issues with the original prototype. You can watch them in action on Episode 6 of this season.
What were your thoughts on the first time Tom called you up and told you about the concept of a 48-hour competition and asked for you to bring an invention from concept to a finished prototype?
“My immediate thoughts was “Amazing show concept, how can Mako help?!” The concept behind Make48, helping home inventors and startups bring their inventions to life, is really at the core of what Mako Design + Invent represents. To have a partnership with a media franchise that so closely supports our vision is truly rewarding. We’re so proud to be able to work on over 150 projects every year and drive innovation forward in the consumer product space.”
We (Make48) get questions from inventors regarding how they have a prototype, where do I go next? Is MAKO the right place for them?
“We love when our clients have a prototype! It’s great to have a physical representation of how they want their product to look and function. The prototype itself is a part of the communication process, so having that helps us really understand what the inventor wants and needs. It helps us design with the inventors aesthetic in mind, engineer with the function in mind, helps to add features or components the inventor may not have included, and allows us to finish off development to prepare the product for production. It’s a very collaborative process, so the more the inventor can communicate to us, the higher the chances of product success; however, the earlier in the development process inventors come to us the better we can collaboratively strategize smart product business planning.”
Established in 1999, MAKO Design + Invent was founded to provide inventors with end-to-end invention development support, enabling them to take their ideas from concept to store shelves. As inventors themselves, they know what the process means to individuals and start-ups. If you need a team of professionals that pride themselves on long-term partnerships with home inventors, manufacturers, developers and more look no further than MAKO Design + Invent.