In 2014, Time called the Maker Movement “very important to America’s future” and one that could “have the potential to change the world.” From 3-D printed robotic hands to solar-powered electric cars, current maker projects have already led to major disruptions. Given that makers are on the forefront of cool projects to come, what new technologies will be next? Disney is investing more than $20 million in experiences, resources, and tools to foster creativity and innovation among young people, while NASA is challenging future engineers for designs on the International Space Station.
But Disney and NASA are not the only companies creating multi-million dollar businesses and world-changing innovations. Square is just one well-known example of companies with maker beginnings that have generated millions in revenue. Early-stage makers are raising significant amounts of cash through crowd funding on their way to becoming the next big startup. Oru Kayak, a folding kayak, raised more than $440,000 on a $80,000 ask on Kickstarter and ultimately went on to receive an additional $500,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company from Robert Herjavec on Shark Tank. James Olander raised $189,000 for his portable standing desk and OpenROV raised $111,000 for an open-source underwater robot for exploration and education on Kickstarter.
With these technologies and tools in play, future families may not need to buy toys for kids; they could print them out with their 3-D printers, and people could simultaneously charge their devices on a revolutionary, eco-friendly wooden stove. Mark Hatch, author of The Maker Movement Manifesto and CEO of TechShop, a national do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio, has seen the rise of the Maker Movement and will lead a discussion to brainstorm what far-fetched dreams will become realities next.
Mark is CEO and co-founder of TechShop and a recognized leader in the global maker movement. Under his leadership, TechShop revenue grew 20-fold in five years and multiple new locations have opened across the US. Mark has held executive positions at firms including Kinko’s, Avery Dennison, and Health Net. In 2013, his book The Maker Movement Manifesto was released by McGraw-Hill Education. Mark has been recognized by San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area’s Most Admired CEOs and by Popular Mechanics as one of 25 movers and makers who are reinventing the American Dream. Mark has spoken at events such as SXSW, Techonomy, TEDx, and The Clinton Global Initiative. A former Green Beret, Mark holds an MBA from the Drucker Center at the Claremont Graduate University.
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