SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 26, 2015) - Maker Media, parent company of Make: magazine and Maker Faire announced that it will host the 2015 Bay Area MakerCon at the Palace of Fine Arts, May 12-13. A conference by and for makers, in a short year, MakerCon has established itself as the pre-eminent event that distills and discusses the disruptive effects and insights that the Maker Movement is having across a broad spectrum, from local and global manufacturing processes and workforce development to inspiring an increasingly creative culture. Specifically, the conversation focuses on the impact that trends like rapid prototyping, lean startup models, citizen science initiatives, and emerging technology and tools are bringing to bear on communities, education and business.
The first MakerCon, also presented by Intel, was launched prior to the Bay Area Maker Faire last year, and hosted at the Oracle Conference Center. The change in venue acknowledges the burgeoning growth of the Maker Movement and the impact it's having on diverse markets from 3D printing to home automation devices. As 3D printers targeting consumers become more prolific, and products like Nest are sold in home improvement stores, Maker culture is sweeping the country. In fact, USA Today projects the number of Makers in the U.S. alone to be 135 million.
"Moving to the Palace of Fine Arts allows us to nearly double the number of attendees we can accommodate, and expand programming and popular features such as the Maker projects and product showcase," said Sherry Huss, vice president of events and operations, and co-founder of Maker Faire. "It also allows us to leverage the historic legacy of the iconic building and the presence of Maker Media Lab, as well as stake out a presence in San Francisco where new and exciting Maker-driven initiatives are happening."
Over the two days, individuals at the forefront of the Maker Movement, from experts in digital manufacturing, to technology and tools providers, to accelerators that facilitate taking products to market and traditional VCs, to educators and community organizers, and a broad swath of Makers, will convene and connect with each other.
"The disruptive effects Makers are having is becoming legion across the globe. The practical insights that are derived from innovative thinking and a new design mindset are life-changing for countries struggling with harsh climates and economic conditions. Locally, in the U.S., Maker culture is changing the way municipalities think about education, community programs, and workforce development," said Dale Dougherty, executive chairman and founder of Maker Media, founder and publisher of Make: and co-founder of Maker Faire. "It continues to reinforce the need for the 'big tent' that MakerCon provides in order to enable these conversations and bring Makers together with other thought-leaders."
Launch Pad: New Hardware Startup Competition
MakerCon will also feature a new startup competition for hardware companies called Launch Pad. The addition underscores the number of companies that have increasingly tapped MakerCon as a platform to announce new products, programs or initiatives, from startups to large technology leaders launching new products aimed at Makers. The Launch Pad submission criteria targets young companies less than three years old with late or closed-Beta products, and with less than $3 million in funding.
"As the number of hardware startups combining physical and digital computing grows exponentially, as well as new technologies that did not exist several years ago that provide new ways of making, there was an obvious opportunity to host a startup competition to bring these new ideas to the forefront," said Gregg Brockway, CEO of Maker Media.
The opportunity to submit a product for Launch Pad opens today. Startups have until March 31st to participate. At the close of submission, ten finalists will be selected to present their hardware products over the course of the two days of MakerCon. A panel of judges will interview them during the presentation and a winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event. A cash prize will be presented to the winning startup.
Early bird registration is now open for MakerCon for $795 for a full conference pass, representing a savings of $100. The call for proposals to participate in the MakerCon program is also open. Individuals interested in submitting an idea for a talk, track, or panel, can visit: http://makercon.com/bay-area-2015/session-proposal/ Speaking opportunities close March 10.
About MAKER MEDIA
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, makezine.com, Maker Faires, and Maker Shed properties.