MakerCon Biz

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The Business of Making is a core value track for MakerCon, the only conference by and for leaders of the Maker Movement. MakerCon exists to celebrate and share information among leading Makers — and developing products, manufacturing them, and getting through distribution mazes are key to the experience. With that in mind, there are many outstanding panels planned for the 2015 Bay Area Maker Biz track.

Futurist Paul Saffo keynotes with his reflections of how Makers will shape the global economy over the next 20 years. Elaine Chen asks if your team is devoted to solving the right problems. Zach Supalla discusses both the challenges of building a Maker-driven business and ensuring that your hardware startup is in the right space to attract VC funding.

Our Launch Pad contest showcases the work of 10 young startups vying for a cash prize and exposure while pitching in a Shark Tank-style format to our stellar lineup of judges. We’ll also break out into sessions that center on such important Maker-related topics as developing Makerspaces, knowing your marketplace, and the challenges and opportunities of product design and development.

Among the many terrific presentations and panels planned, Kate Sofis’ From Make to Manufacture: How can more product designers become (domestic) manufacturers?” brings together the largest brain trust.

The executive director of SF Made, Kate explains, “This panel will explore the connection between product invention and production with a focus on debating the opportunities and challenges that product designers and Makers face in scaling from one to many here in the US.”

With input from DODOcase co-founder and CEO Craig Dalton, who launched his prototype from the co-working confines of Tech Shop; Other Machine CEO Danielle Applestone, a materials scientist whose Othermill machine brings design to the masses; Quirky CTO Steven Heintz, who will share tales of establishing his company’s new San Francisco-based design and manufacturing center; fashion designer Alexander Michael Snyder of DNA, a contract manufacturer of high-end clothing; and CEO Dorian Ferlauto, whose BriteHub connects buyers and suppliers, this session will center on the ins and outs of getting a product to market — and consider what makes the best sense when trying to manufacture here in the U.S.

This type of programming is exactly what MakerCon exists to foment. We hope that you plan to join us for this and other informative and provocative panels, discussions, and sessions May 12-13 at MakerCon.