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Make48 Ignites Innovation at Sixth National Competition

All we can say is WOW. In 48 hours, teams created 7 incredible prototypes for Make48 Nationals Season 6 competition. T-Mobile called the challenge at the esteemed University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in their Innovation Studio, a space for the Kansas City community to design, build and innovate. The Innovation Studio plays a unique role in University-Business partnerships by providing the best opportunities for supporting product innovation, while also enhancing the integration of engineering, business, product design, and technology within the UMKC community.

Throughout the weekend each team had access to incredible resources during the competition to help them create a working prototype of their “Animal Wellness & Transport” product idea. T-Mobile brought in eight technicians to initiate 5G technology to their ideas. Make48 Tool Techs worked hand-in-hand with teams operating 3D printers, CNC machines, CAD designing, textiles, metal-working, saws, drills, and any other needed machinery; so even teams with limited product development knowledge are able to transform their idea into a reality.

Tool Techs of the 6th National Competition

After their ideas were determined, the building processes began and teams faced the next aspects of the competition challenge – creating a marketing scheme for their product and a professional pitch demonstration for the judging panel.

A great idea alone is not enough to secure a win at Make48. The judging criteria for the competition includes: product originality, problem solution, target audience, marketability, manufacturing ease, options for expansion, packaging, and product demonstration. With a group of videographers and graphic designers, the teams finalized their prototype and went on to pitch at the Miller Nichols Library.

M48 Judges: Kevin O’Connor (This Old House), Wendy Byram (T-Mobile), and Kevin Mako (Mako Design+Invent)

The panel of judges included Kevin O’Connor (This Old House), Kevin Mako (Mako Design+Invent) and Wendy Byram (T-Mobile). All the contestants pitched their ideas with confidence. Three awards were given at the end. First was the “Spirit Stick Winner”, the team who spread their content the farthest leading up to Nationals; Second was the T-Mobile award, which was given to the team who best incorporated T-Mobile’s technology. Finally, a first place team was crowned the Make48 Season 6 National winners with bragging rights. They walked away with $10,000 and a handmade trophy, built with love by their team of tool techs.

A huge thank you to the UMKC team including Dean Truman, Christina Davis, Brian Kanoy and the incredible group of volunteers and experts from the UMKC School of Science & Engineering. They went above and beyond to make the 48 hour competition a success.

Also a big heartfelt appreciation goes out to the Tool Techs, mentors, and guests who came from across the country, and locally, to bring innovation and making into the community. It was a dazzling 48 hours, and we couldn't have done it without your support. Enjoy these outtakes from the weekend and we’ll see you at the next Make48 competition.

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