If you’re a Maker Pro—a tinkerer interested in going to the next level by bringing an invention to market—consider entering your design in the Pitch Your Prototype Challenge, a collaboration between Make: and Cornell University with the goal of digging up promising prototypes from the Maker community. The winning individual or team, which will be announced at the blowout MakerCon New York gathering in September, will be awarded a $5,000 grant.
“We originally launched Make: magazine to provide an outlet for engineers,” said executive chairman and founder of Maker Media Dale Dougherty. “Too often, their jobs became management-focused and more theory-based, with little time to do what they really loved and became engineers to do. Fortunately, educational institutions like Cornell are changing up the curriculum and as a result changing the landscape, turning out Makers as well as managers.”
The window to enter the Pitch Your Prototype Challenge closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 30th, 2015. Don’t wait too long to submit your entry, though, because the earlier you enter, the more likely that it will be featured on the Make: blog. That matters, because the first round of judging will incorporate input from the public, who will consider each product’s applicability to a real world problem, commercial viability, originality and the quality of documentation and submission materials. You can find the complete rules here.
After the final five contestants have been selected, a panel of judges sourced from Maker Media and Cornell University will select the winner. All five finalists will be invited to MakerCon New York, where the winner will be announced, and will receive a complementary pass to the event.
“At Cornell, we have always operated by fearless abandon of conventional rules, in order to turn out engineers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make the world a better place,” said Cornell Systems Engineering and founder of the Intel-Cornell Cup David R. Schneider. “We firmly believe that through a relentless focus on interdisciplinary research and programs, transformative technology, and hosting challenges like these motivate our students to truly stretch their creativity to engage in mindful design that solves for real world problems and needs.”
Entrants in previous Make: contests have included an avant-garde musical instrument powered by a Raspberry Pi, a nutrition monitor for the elderly, a cache of sophisticated projects made with the classic 555 timer IC chip, and a moving time-lapse camera rig.