Pitch Your Prototype… And Win $5,000

Pitch Your Prototype… And Win ,000

Pitch Your Prototype

Want a chance to win $5,000 and be featured at MakerCon New York this September? If so, consider entering the Pitch Your Prototype contest, a collaboration between Make: and Cornell University with the goal of digging up promising prototypes from the Maker community.

PitchYourPrototype_125x125_v1Maybe you’ve been working on a wearable, or wrestling with a Raspberry Pi. Regardless, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by entering—contestants in previous Make: contests have included an aerial film platform, plushies modeled on video game characters and an outrageous four-wheeled bicycle made from recycled materials.

After the entry period ends on April 30, a community of online voters and judges from Make: and Cornell will select five finalists. Then, a panel of judges will select a winning contestant from that top five, which will awarded a $5,000 grant and announced at MakerCon New York in September.

To enter Pitch Your Prototype, your team of four or fewer collaborators will be asked to provide a project description, up to eight photos and an optional video, all of which will then be publicly viewable online—so you can show your friends and family what you’ve been working on, or keep an eye on what your adversaries have cooked up.

Read the complete rules here. Below are the highlights:

  • The contest begins February 18, 2015!
  • The contest ends at 11:59pm PT on Thursday, April 30—which gives you just over two months to pull together your submission.
  • Don’t procrastinate, though. The earlier you get your prototype online, the better the chance your project will be featured on the Make: blog.
  • Pitch Your Prototype entries must be new products that are not yet on the market and not currently posted on a crowdfunding site.
  • The winner will be announced at MakerCon New York during the week of September 21.
  • Judges and online participants will vote for prototypes based on their applicability to a real world problem (30%), commercial viability (30%), originality (25%) and the quality of submission materials and documentation (%15). Judges will also pay attention to marketing efforts (5%), so don’t forget to promote your prototype.

Even if you don’t opt to enter the Pitch Your Prototype contest, consider signing up for Maker Faire Bay Area (May 16-17), Maker Faire New York (September 26-27) or MakerCon New York. These flagship events for the Maker Movement combines elements of science fairs, hackathons and community festivals into something totally new.

Check out this gallery of contestants from previous Make: contests:

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Jon Christian is the co-editor of the Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection between makers and business. He's also written for the Boston Globe, WIRED and The Atlantic.

View more articles by Jon Christian


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