SOURCE: Maker Media

Maker Media

Maker Media

February 18, 2015 15:25 ET

Make: and Cornell University Announce the "Pitch Your Prototype" Challenge

Individuals and Teams Across the Country Are Invited to Submit Innovative Ideas

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2015) - Make: and Cornell University have teamed up again, this time to challenge Makers to come to together to design and fabricate an innovative product prototype in an entrepreneurial competition that will span six months. Culminating in September, on the stage at MakerCon, Make:'s conference by and for Makers prior to World Maker Faire in New York, a panel of judges will announce the winning prototype. Cornell has a legacy of creating such challenges for students and the broader community of Makers, most recently with its partnership with Intel for the Intel-Cornell Cup. Cornell Engineering was also a 2014 presenting sponsor for MakerCon in New York last September.

"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 Dr. David R. Schneider, Cornell Systems Engineering, founder of the Intel-Cornell Cup. "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."

Practice Over Theory
Presented by Make: in partnership with Cornell University, the "Pitch Your Prototype Challenge" encourages engineering students across the country to subscribe to a set of core Maker values: open over proprietary; individual over institution; collaborative over competitive; and, most importantly, practice over theory.

"We originally launched Make: magazine to provide an outlet for engineers. So in the evenings and on weekends, they could actually engage in designing, building, creating -- making something. Our tagline was 'technology on your time,'" said Dale Dougherty, executive chairman and founder of Maker Media, Make: magazine and Maker Faire. "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 submission process for the "Pitch Your Prototype" Challenge is live at and individuals and teams can apply for the challenge, view rules and criteria, and review submission requirements. Once the submission closes on April 30th, 2015, community voting and judging begins to help determine the top five finalists through May 18th, 2015. A panel of judges, representatives from both Make: and Cornell University, will select the winner from the five finalists. General criteria for the prototype judging include: Originality of idea or product; Application to real world problem or need; Commercial viability and target market; Quality of submission materials and documentation of the prototype; and Promoting your prototype.

Make: magazine will host the "Pitch Your Prototype" challenge on, and promote and blog about the status of the program, entries, and deadlines. In addition to Cornell Engineering, Cornell's support is a joint effort of a number of its schools and departments, which are actively supporting the "Pitch Your Prototype" challenge:

  • Entrepreneurship@Cornell

  • Cornell Engineering

  • Systems Engineering

  • Cornell Tech

  • Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

About Entrepreneurship@Cornell

Entrepreneurship at Cornell is a diverse, university-wide program that finds and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in participants from every college, every field, and in every stage of life. We are grounded in the belief that individuals who exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit and have acquired entrepreneurial knowledge can add significant value to any working environment from the smallest startup to the largest business, from non-profits to government agencies

About Cornell Engineering

Founded in 1870, Cornell Engineering is the preeminent engineering school in the Ivy League. The college has a long history of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education within the context of a uniquely broad and renowned research-intensive university. Its strengths have developed from a fearlessness to question established thinking, a genuine commitment to students, and a sincere desire to make the world a better place for all. Cornell Engineering faculty members dismantle conventional wisdom to discover new knowledge and invent transformative technology, develop innovative interdisciplinary research and programs, and teach students who will brighten our future.


Maker Media is a global platform for connecting Makers with each other, with products and services, and with our partners. Through media, events and ecommerce, Maker Media serves a growing community of Makers who bring a DIY mindset to technology. Whether as hobbyists or professionals, makers are creative, resourceful and curious, developing projects that demonstrate how they can interact with the world around them. The launch of Make: magazine in 2005, followed by Maker Faire in 2006, jumpstarted a worldwide Maker Movement, which is transforming innovation, culture and education. Headquartered in San Francisco, Maker Media is the publisher of Make: magazine and the producer of Maker Faire. It also develops "getting started" kits and books that are sold in its Maker Shed store as well as in retail channels. The Make: brand caters to a universe of more than 25 million makers collectively across its Make: magazine,, Maker Faires, and Maker Shed properties.

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