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A post on MakerCon’s Twitter page said it all, “MakerCon attendees carried toolboxes – no briefcases.”

This year’s 2015 MakerCon, May 12-13 at the new San Francisco’s Palace of The Fine Arts, did not disappoint the modern-day inventors that attended the event. The Who’s Who in the Maker Movement from Paul Saffo, teacher at Stanford and chairman of Future Studies at Singularity University and Chris Anderson of 3D Robotics were just some of the amazing keynote speakers attending MakerCon 2015.

With over 75 speakers, 50+ sessions, and 30+ startups offering a plethora of products, projects, and thoughtful insights to cover (phew) – the two-day event was truly jam-packed. But the main theme woven throughout the two-day event focused on: the “Business of Making,” “Tools of Innovation and Technology,” and “Future Tech, Now.” Here are some highlights from the keynote speakers and information on the new Launch Pad contest from MakerCon 2015.


Leaders In The Maker Movement:

The all-star line-up of the key Makers in the business were at this year’s 2015 MakerCon. From Massimo Banzi on Arduino and its new connectivity initiative to Dr. Glenn Green (associate professor, University of Michigan) explaining how he saved a baby’s life with 3D printing and how he’s working on bringing it into clinical practice – this two-day event was truly inspirational.

Day 1 Highlights:

Day 1 kicked off with insightful talks from key Makers such as Bethany Koby (Technology Will Save Us) discussing her desire to inspire people to go from “zero to Maker” and that using kits such as her DIY Electro Dough Kit will help kids “explore tech in more creative and productive ways.” Attendees also heard from Chris Anderson’s (3D Robotics) and his rousing speech about how the Maker Movement is “not a DIY movement, but a do-it-together movement” and his vision of the “Next Maker Movement” to Yobie Benjamin’s (Avegant) very direct talk on crowd funding projects stating, “if you don’t have at least 150,000 people on your mailing list – don’t bother.”

Day 2 Highlights:


Day two attendees heard from key speakers such Paul Saffo (Futurist) and his keynote address: “After Consumption: How Makers Are Shaping the Next 20 Years of The Global Economy,” and his discussion of the Maker as the “catalyst” in an economy built on mass engagement.

Attendees also watched Eric Monsef (VP of Hewlett Packard) joyfully riding on stage on his own “hacked bike” he built from scratch while discussing the innovative HP Sprout as well as Eben Upton and his amazing first four years with the Raspberry Pi project. Gael Langevin (InMoov founder) stole the show with his actual 3D printed InMoov humanoid robot roaming the stage doing StarWars impressions as Langevin discussed the future of 3D printing technology.

The conference wrapped up with some serious music mixes from Thud Rumble’s DJs Richard “DJ QBert” Quitevis and Ritche “Yogafrog” Desuasido and their new “skratching” technology where DJ’s can now remove the laptop and actually skratch from the MP3 player itself. Not a bad way to end one of the most creative and innovative conferences to date.


Some inspirational quotes of the two-day event:

“There’s never been a better time to take on the giants.” – Andrew Anaganost (Autodesk Fusion 360

“The Maker Movement is not DIY – it’s do it together. The community is more important than the technology.” – Chris Anderson

“It’s not just about putting hardware tools on the market. It’s also important to provide documentation and support.” – Massimo Banzi


Launch Pad And Some of The Newest Makers:

MakerCon 2015 also announced a new competition for hardware startups, called Launch Pad, which is open to companies:

  • Less than three years old,
  • Raised less than $3 million in funding
  • Have late or closed-Beta products

On Day 1 of MakerCon, a panel of judges (including Rafe Needleman of Yahoo Tech and Gareth Keane of Qualcomm Ventures group) reviewed and interviewed the Ten Launch Pad finalists. After several grueling hours of deliberation, the winner Botfactory was announced. Their prize:

  • $5,000 cash prize
  • Booth at the Maker Faire Bay Area
  • Profile in Make magazine and more.



Winner: BotFactory – Squink:

Squink is a user-friendly desktop electronics factory. According to BotFactory, you can finally design and create electronic circuits from home, at the cost of a cup of coffee. Connect Squink directly through your browser and complete a quick three-step process:

  • print electrical traces using conductive ink on a substrate of your choice
  • conductive glue dots are placed on the ink
  • Squink picks up the electronic parts from a tray, identifies them with a camera, positions them, and places them on the board. The circuit is then heated to join parts and the traces. Amazing.

FlipBookKit: is an affordable DIY kit that allows anyone to make either a manual or motorized flip book from a video or set of still images, creating a one-of-a-kind tactile kinetic art piece.

Opendesk: is a global platform where you can download, make, and buy furniture for your workspace.

Bolt-1: is an environmentally friendly electric motorbike.

Sereneti Kitchen: provides multiple trays pods of prewashed, prechopped fresh ingredients in a machine that you sync to a recipe on your smart device, and it cooks your food.

Farm Dogg: is an electric vehicle that combines the features of both an ATV and a farm tractor. It has the drivability and versatility of an ATV but like a tractor, it is also a designed platform for integrating with tools.



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