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Watch 12 College Teams Compete This Fall on Make48

By August 20, 2019General

In what will be a first for Make48, our latest competitive event will consist exclusively of 12 college teams from across the country.  Watch these talented students race against the clock to come up with a brand new product idea and prototype.   

Airing this fall on your local American Public Television and PBS station, students will have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch a brand new idea to our panel of judges.  This year the judges are Make48’s CEO and Senior Strategist at The Handy Camel, Tom Gray; Senior Buyer at QVC , Jenne Frackelton; and Maker/YouTube sensation, Jimmy DiResta!  The New York-based designer with 1.5 million YouTube subscribers with tens of millions of views worldwide, Jimmy is celebrated for his incredibly unique and creative creations and has one of the top master builder YouTube channels in the world.


The 12 schools that participated this season were — 

  • The University of Miami
  • Kansas State Polytechnic
  • Tulane University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Kansas City Art Institute
  • U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • UCONN – University of Connecticut
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Reno-Nevada
  • Rice University

Our team traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to film the third season at The Makerspace by Stanley Black & Decker.  The collaborative space provided the tools that helped teams bring their ideas to life.  Their tool library consisted of equipment from CNC Shopbot routers, Epilog Laser cutters, plasma cutters, metalworking & machining, woodworking, and every type of DeWalt and Black & Decker tool imaginable.  “It’s something that’s very important to our corporation,” Tylan Tschopp told Make48.  “We have the vision of impacting and upskilling 10 million makers by 2020 and we have the tools, skills and knowledge to help enable this.”  

With a full  production crew that included Outpost Worldwide and Talking Tree Creative, the teams received assistance from tool techs, volunteers and mentors.  Pivot International, The Grommet and Wet & Forget were valuable mentors this season.  They advised the teams from a business standpoint because, “a lot of them don’t have deep business experience and that’s kind of the one, two punch of making a successful product, having a great idea but then understanding the business dynamic around it,” stated Joanne Domeniconi, co-founder of The Grommet.  

Teresa Fugett, VP of Marketing at Wet & Forget told us that the teams this year are different from past season competitors, who are usually seasoned inventors.  “The students are coming into it without having as much life experience so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle some of that.  Yet they bring a fresh, naive attitude and I think they’re a little bit more open to things.”

Judging took place at Baltimore’s Museum of Industry where the teams pitched their product to judges and guests. Located in an old cannery on a five-acre waterfront campus, the location was a remarkable background to the event. Celebrating Maryland’s industrial legacy, the museum boasts exhibitions showcasing the history of the Charm City’s entrepreneurial spirit.

This season will bring challenges unlike any other.  Keep an eye out for when Make48 will air in your city.  Visit your local PBS station at https://www.pbs.org for airtimes and visit our website for the latest news.  


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