Beloit’s first Make48 competition was memorable. Community business leaders, local companies and organizations came together to share what innovation means to a whole new generation. Watch eight Wisconsin teams challenge themselves to build a prototype in 48 hours in the Beloit-Make48 highlight reel. [team bios]
The Lincoln Academy hosted the competition at their K4-12 charter school, where they inspire students to think beyond the classroom and towards their future. Besides classrooms, TLA incorporates exploratory spaces for students to explore a variety of disciplines including music, art, computer science, agriculture, welding, woodworking and STEM. Matt Schultz, the technology and engineering director at TLA, was the lead tool technician for the event. He worked with tool techs from the school, Onshape, MatterHackers, Airgas, Fastenal and ShopBot Tools. The community also pitched in to volunteer and additional help came from surrounding Beloit companies, TLA students and parents.
Kerry Frank (Executive Director at Beloit 200) helped bring the event to the Wisconsin town. Kerry is an inventor/entrepreneur and wanted to highlight the innovation happening in Beloit. An incredible 1,500+ patents have been born out of Beloit including the first cheese curl (modern day cheetos). On why she thinks Beloit is so innovative, Kerry believes it’s that midwest magic. “I think the magic is in the diversity of people. There’s a strong midwest work ethic and people love it here. I use the phrase ‘Midwest Is Best’ because we're willing to help our neighbor or help somebody down the road with a business. Business is networking and growing relationships, and in a city like this, it's just magic.”
Many hands were brought in to build the relationship with Make48 and see a team compete at Nationals this spring, where the team's hard work plays out next season. Companies who sponsored the competition were: ABC Supply, Hendricks Commercial Properties, Beloit Sky Carp, Fairbanks Morse, Kerry Ingredients, Hidden Creek Estates, Geronimo Hospitality, Beloit College, First National, CCI, Neese Foundation, Visit Beloit, Northstar, Mid-States Concrete, Blackhawk Bank, Bud Weiser Motors, Inc, Alliant Energy, and Harris Ace Hardware. Special thanks to Diane Hendricks who brought her network of companies in to assist the community of Beloit with the Make48 challenge. Diane is dedicated to passing the innovator spirit to the next generation. Transforming communities is not an easy task, but having America’s most successful entrepreneur pave the way has been groundbreaking. Diane has been focused on revitalizing Beloit’s historic properties, where businesses flourish and jobs are created. She is passionate about civic responsibility, including a strong commitment to Beloit, where ABC Supply and HCC portfolios are headquartered. The team is grateful to the city for bringing their voice to a platform like Make48 to share.
The city of Beloit is ready to take the winning prototype to the next steps, while their team will represent the community next March. For more information about the Beloit event visit https://www.make48.com/beloit. Early next year Make48 will announce the winners of the competition and share the full-length 30 minute episode on the This Old House Makers Channel on Roku. Enjoy the highlight reel and we’ll see you next year at Nationals!