Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Anyone! Team members do not need to have any product development experience to apply. We think your fresh perspective is valuable. What we’re looking for are passionate people who are up for a challenge, excited to put themselves out there to solve a problem and make improvements to existing products, eager to learn, collaborate, and willing to be flexible.  Have you ever thought “If only there was a…” or “This is what would make this better…” YOU are Make48 material.

Do I bring a product I’ve already created or do I create a new one?

Create a new one! Each competition has a product theme and this is what you look into to create your brand new prototype. Take a look at past competition themes!

Suppose I’ve never made a prototype and don’t have much experience with tools?

You need not worry! Make48 Tool-Techs and industry experts will be on hand in our fabrication labs throughout the weekend to educate and guide you, as well as provide hands-on help to create a physical representation of your product idea.

Do I need a professionally made video for my application?

No, absolutely not. You can and should film the video you submit along with your application on your smart phone. We just want to get to know you a little bit better, and watching your team on camera is one of the best ways of doing that. Tell us about yourselves, about something fun you’ve done, or just why you want to compete in Make48. We’re not looking for perfection, just a little of your team’s unique personality. If you aren’t able to film all of your team for the video, that’s not a problem — a team representative will do.

When you make your video, you will discover how easy it really is to do! Which will come in handy later on, during the last stage of the competition, when you may choose to make a short promo video for your new product idea. So this is good practice.

Who owns what I create?

You do. Any innovation (and ensuing intellectual property) you come up with, you own.  Once accepted as a finalist, you’ll receive a team packet with documentation detailing these specifics.

What does my team need to bring to the competition?

We recommend bringing a laptop, because during the initial stage of the competition, your team will use the Internet to study the marketplace. Feel free to bring any tools you enjoy using, but know that doing so is not required. Most teams did not bring any tools with them to the last competition. However, there was one team that brought an entire machine shop in the back of a U-Haul truck!

By what criteria are the winning teams determined?

We are looking for product ideas that are highly marketable. Highly marketable ideas have a point of difference. Please note that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — just have an idea that is unique enough. Highly marketable ideas appeal to larger markets and are able to be manufactured. The winning team will also have met the challenge presented at the beginning of the weekend.

Our judging criteria includes:

  • Product Originality
  • Problem Solution
  • Target Audience
  • Competition
  • Marketability
  • Manufacturing Ease
  • Expandable/Options
  • Packaging
  • Potential Selling Price/Margins
  • Product Demonstration

I need lodging and not sure where to stay. Do you have recommendations?

Yes. We will assist teams with options varying in cost and proximity to the event location.  Although this is a 48 hour competition, weekend lodging for your team, near to the event, is highly recommended and may be required based on the event venue.

Can our team bring and use our own mobile shop/workspace, tent, or vehicle enclosed?

Permission based on event location and rules for that venue. Please indicate this on your application, restrictions may apply.

Can we stay on site?

On-site residence is not recommended and may not be allowed entirely based on event location and rules for that venue.

Still have questions? Email us at!