A startup competition aimed at shining a bright light on the creative work of hardware startups, Launch Pad offers a $5,000 prize and all of the exposure that Make: magazine, Maker Faire, and MakerCon can offer to a young company.

With interest in the competition running high, the first real contest has already occurred: getting to the finalist round. We’re proud to announce the handful of startups that have made it to this inner circle, and who will present, Shark Tank-style, to our great panel of judges.

The only conference by and for leaders of the Maker Movement, MakerCon welcomes the following companies to Launch Pad:

bolt

Bolt Motorbikes introduce the Bolt M-1, an all-electric moped that “may contain traces of bicycle,” never requires gas or oil, and goes up to 50 miles between charges. The perfect urban transport? Our judges will decide.


 

opendesk Opendesk describes itself as a “global platform for local making.” Rather than having office furniture manufactured one place and shipped intact to another, Opendesk facilitates local making, with users downloading instructions ready for digital fabrication that can be made on demand wherever you are.


 

flipbookit Wackystuff Inc. A hit when it was first introduced at Maker Faire Bay Area in 2012, the Flipbookit kinetic art module from Wendy Marvel and Mark Rosen uses the old-fashioned magic of Eadweard Muybridge to create highly personalized new-fangled animation.


 

sereneti Sereneti Kitchen debuts Cooki, a robotic chef that uses pre-washed and –proportioned fresh foods to create one-pot meals via smart phone commands. “Think of it as Keurig for food,” they advise.


 

gopigoDexter Industries brings their GoPiGo to MakerCon, an introductory robot based around the Raspberry Pi board that is intended to ease consumers into feeling comfortable and having success with the world of microcontrollers.


 

BoMFabule BoM Squad. Based in Montreal, Fabule posits that hardware manufacturing is already difficult enough. Its Bill of Materials (BoM) manager aims to let entrepreneurs and manufacturers work together more seamlessly than any Excel spreadsheet could ever allow.


 

farmdoggRogue Rovers. Tractors are great, but they have limitations. So, too, do ATVs, the other most used vehicle on a typical farm. The electric FarmDogg vehicle combines the best of both machines into one perfectly suited for 21st century farming, complete with cloud-based intelligence that can interact with other tools.


 

spinnSpinn Coffee. The Internet of Things meets the cuppa in Spinn, which aims for a “reinvention of coffee for the online and connected era.” Using centrifugal force technology to brew espresso, drip, French press, Lungo, and Americano coffees, the Spinn even reorders your beans when you run low.


 

botfactoryBotFactory rolls out Squink, the “desktop electronics factory” that allows you to design and create circuits wherever you might be via the miracle of your browser, no installs needed.


 

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 9.54.13 AMWe welcome ProtoPalette as our final Launch Pad contestant. Iterated for beginners and pros alike, ProtoPalette aims to make Arduino even easier to with more creative possibilities.


Launch Pad presentations are slated for the morning of Tuesday, May 12, from 9:30 to 10:30am at MakerCon. Each company will have five minutes to pitch their hardware startup’s product to our esteemed panel before answering extemporaneous questions from the judges. Nine companies will be eliminated. Only one can be the top pick.

Which company will win?

Join us at MakerCon next month to find out!