Make48: A New Type of Invention Competition

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Teams are given the product and with a whistle blow the 48 hour inventor competition begins!

After the hardware store dash the teams are given five minutes in front of a select group. They pitch their initial product ideas and get feedback to put them on the right track.

Assisted by Tool Techs and Mentors and equipped with all types of tools from 3D printers, laser cutters , computer driven routers, to hammers and nails, prototypes begin to take shape. Teams construct and test their prototypes and begin work on all the pitch materials including product video, sales sheets, marketing ideas and more.

Prior to the final judging, teams provide a sneak peek of their product to the judges and manufacturers in a 2-minute lightning round of pre-judging. Is the product unique? Does it have wow factor? Will it sell itself? Is it feasible for manufacturing based on costs and complexity?

The clock stops, the tools are down and the nerves are up!

Top US design firms are tasked with redesigning our winning products. New prototypes are made and tested. Our top three teams are given a breakdown of all the work put into redesigning and prototyping their ideas. The teams react to all the weeks and months of professional work that has been done so far on they 48 hour prototype.

The mentors give valuable marketing the merchandising insight. Professional marketing companies from around the United States are brought in to help craft the marketing and merchandising ideas for their products. The products are getting closer to the rigors of public debut through crowdfunding.

The products are shown to a select few buyers. Next stop San Francisco to meet campaign strategists at IndieGoGo a global online crowdfunding platform. With all of the feedback and the information that has been gathered the products are ready for their crowdfunding debut. Months after the initial 48 hour event the final prototypes meet the most demanding judge, the public!

How It Works

17 Teams are given 48 hours to come up with an idea, create a prototype, marketing materials, and a pitch. The goal of Make48 is to foster imagination, creativity, problem solving and the inventive spirit. Make48 captures the process of invention through a hands-on competition that challenges individuals of various ages and backgrounds to take product ideas from conception to physical prototype in a 48-hour period.

At the end of 48 hours the teams will pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Based on the competition criteria, three top inventions will be chosen. Make48 will then follow these products as they make their way to market. The top three products will be re-designed by professional designers, have new prototypes created using state of the art technologies, and get marketing videos created by experienced marketing companies. This all culminates in a crowdfunding campaign where the new products are put before the public to see if they are viable.

Make48 inspires education & action… everyone has a big idea!

Episode Synopses


The first four episodes document the unpredictable and inspiring immersion in the Make48 inventor’s competition to develop REAL products. With the constant pressure of the “ticking clock” we engage up close and personal with the teams as they brainstorm, design and build their ideas in order to pitch a working prototype to a team of industry savvy Make48 judges.

From napkin drawing to design, we’ll watch these competitors suffer the highs and lows, showing the true nature of bringing a prototype to life in only 48 hours.

Of course, our teams may seek advice from our “Tool Techs” – professional inventor/fabricators – at any point along the way, as Make48 aims to provide a level playing field at all times. Industry A-listers will also roam the competition floor and give advice on all facets of teams’ development.

At the 24 hour mark the inventors go before a focus group of industry experts to pitch their initial ideas and get feedback. Utilizing this advice the teams must tweak their designs and marketing, all in anticipation of their final pitch before the judges.

At the end of Episode four, time is up!


In this pivotal episode, the prototype judging begins and we learn which top three inventions will continue on the path to enhanced design and manufacturing, marketing and retail launch!  The teams present their products and creative marketing ideas to the judges in front of an auditorium full of people. Only three of our 17 product prototypes will win the opportunity to continue the challenging journey to marketplace.


We follow our three teams with their winning product prototypes as they are fine-tuned, tested, and re-engineered by national level design firms.  We will follow a parallel storytelling thread between our three teams with three different firms through this process. Each episode of the series is filled with learning moments engaging with actual industry experts.


Our three teams are paired with national level creative marketing firms to continue on their path with their refined designs to dive into the world of marketing, creative strategy, product video production and brand strategy. Once again we follow a parallel story thread between the three teams in their creative marketing mentorships.


Our three teams reunite with their winning products that they had conceived in just 48 hours.  Now, after days, weeks and months of extensive refinement of their products by designers, marketers and industry experts the products are on the verge of launch with the buying public.

Improved prototypes, manufacturing challenges and marketing plans are shared with crowdfunding experts at Indiegogo. The public crowdfunding campaigns are launched.  Then it’s on the road with the prototypes to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas for private reviews with global retail buyers.  The episode ends with a from the gut, mind and heart summary with our inventors, mentors, and experts on the pitfalls and triumphs of bringing a new product to market.

Do these products have what it takes to succeed in the retail marketplace at the mercy of the buying public? Tune into Season 2 of Make48 to find out!

Premiering Fall 2017.