Growing a company and a brand relies on a team and our team has been an extension of many helping hands for the past 5 years. One way that we recognize that support is through the Make48 VIP Experience at our competition events.
I asked Amy, Make48’s Director of Events, about the experience. “We really like to involve our sponsors in the Make48 competitions with a VIP experience. Besides having a behind the scenes view of the competition, sponsors enjoy 3 days of networking with industry professionals, outings exploring the maker world in our host cities and many are even heavily involved as tool techs and mentors to the teams to help them create the best prototype in the short time they are given.”
As Amy said, many of our VIPs attend the event as mentors. A few of those business experts are from MAKO Design + Invent, The Grommet, Wet & Forget and Pivot International. Others are past winners of Make48 who know what the teams are going through. Mentorship is a great tool to motivate and inspire, and we’re lucky to have many of them assist the teams during competitions. During our walkthrough’s VIPs meet the teams, bounce off ideas and give them feedback, advice or direction in regards to their ideas. Their perspective is vital to those who are attempting the difficult challenge of designing a prototype in 48 hours.
As teams tackle creating a product in 48 hours, VIPs get the unique experience of seeing first-hand an event that is being filmed for television. Our third season VIP Experience was sponsored by QVC. Today, through nationwide product searches, QVC remains committed to discovering and cultivating the best up-and-coming inventors and entrepreneurs, helping them to grow their business through a scalable and nurturing process as well as giving their retail-ready product the opportunity to be sold across QVC’s platforms. QVC has also fostered innovation through its collaboration with Make48 as a judge for both Season 1 and Season 3.
After spending the day with the teams, we gathered our guests and whisked them away to local Baltimore establishments during season three. It was a great chance for everyone to get outside the workshop and mingle with one another. The Charm City is full of history, attractions and great seafood and was a wonderful host city for our visit. We took a behind-the-scenes makerspace tour at The Foundery, played duckpin bowling at Mustang Alley’s, and ate dinner on a ship at Captain James overlooking the harbor.
On the final night of the competition, the VIPs stay to watch as the teams pitch their prototypes to a panel of judges, knowing how hard everyone worked throughout the event. “Witnessing the power of inventing and innovation with a time limit really shows our sponsors that big things can be done when you focus and put your effort behind an end goal.”