Tag Archives: makers festival

Save the Date! Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 set for April 18th!

19 Apr

save the date We had so much fun at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, we’ve already got the Special Events Center at the Florida Fairgrounds reserved for April 18, 2015 for next year’s event!  We’re scaling back to a one day event, but running from 10am blacksmiths 2to 8pm, adding some programming, and recruiting some great new Makers, and we’ve got a fantastic planning team together that will Make it all happen!

Stay connected via our Facebook page and Twitter, and keep an eye on our MakerCon page to see when our Call for Makers goes live at the end of the year.

Start planning now to get your Make on at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!

Help us Build our Maker Community!

15 Apr

blacksmithsThe creative DIY entrepreneurial community has grown considerably on the Florida west coast over the last few davinci fair signyears, due in no small measure to celebratory showcase events  like Gulf Coast MakerCon,  and Bar Camps in Sarasota and Tampa, which are increasingly broadening their offerings beyond their already amazing open sharing presentation programs to include things like  DaVinci’s Faire at Sarasota Bar Camp recently, and FIRST robotics teams flinging frisbees during Bar Camp Tampa Bay breaks.

After some stirring of the collaborative soup in recent months, groups and individuals on both sides of the Bay(s), have come to realize that self-organizing is possible at all levels and have begun to produce a variety of events, makerspaces and hackerspaces,  and programs at a true grassroots level, freeing creativity, speeding innovation, and fostering powerful open sharing across the board.

Gulf Coast MakerCon is delighted to take its place in that creative community, collaboratively produced by like-minded individuals who value, in the words of Andreas Schleicher, speaking from the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai recently,  ” a world in which the enriching power of communication and collaborative flows is increasing” and a where “success will be with those who master the new forms of collaboration.”

what do you makeOn the leading edge of that world, we want to continue building our Maker Community here on the Gulf Coast of Florida together, and invite you to share your events, programs, inventions, ideas, insights and resources here, where we’re  One Maker for All, and All Makers for One!

There are lots of ways to use this site to grow our shared community.

So don’t just wait for the future you want – come Make it happen now!

 

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Fun & Successful!

11 Apr
Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Gulf coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s  3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit brought everything from Blacksmith Artists, to Electric Race Cars fireand fighting robots to the Florida Fairgrounds Special Events Center West, at 4800 Highway 301 North in Tampa, on April 5 & 6.

Gulf Coast MakerCon was an Affiliate Event of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, as well as a recognized National Robotics Week event, and a recognized International Tabletop Day event, co-hosted by Suncoast Skirmishers, where tabletop gaming enthusiasts  tried out everything from Dungeons & Dragons to board games and card games.

Over 550 guests enjoyed browsing 50 technical, creative and professional exhibits blacksmithscovering everything from patent development and the inventive process, to 3D printing, programming, mechanical and electrical design, green tech and open source technologies, with a special Young Makers section for kids and families helped along by the great folks at the Community Innovation Center in downtown Tampa, and Sarasota Scientific Instruments.  The Tampa Tribune and Fox New 13 came gave us some nice coverage, too!

robot battlesIn the Robotics Showcase, guests enjoyed student built robotics by FIRST teams, and the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group 15 lb. and under class fighting robot competitions. We also had a Makerspace Makers Corner, a Florida Inventors Showcase hosted by the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, Electrathon of Tampa Bay student built electric race cars, and some energetic chemistry demos by Mr. Home Scientist, Dan Flisek.  The Florida Artist Blacksmiths Association was a huge hit, working their magic to turn iron rods into roses and other art.

Many many thanks to our great sponsors Hillsborough County, Gabotronics and Learning is for Everyone, Inc. and to our in-kind partners, DEX Imaging , Mity-Mo Creative, Studio 7 Communications and F5 Live Refreshing Technology electrathon racerswho broadcast live from Gulf Coast MakerCon all afternoon on Saturday!

We’ve already got our amazing planning team in place and the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds reserved again for next spring, so stay tuned for Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!

gamingAnd in the meantime, stay connected on our Facebook page and through Twitter, send  us your events and announcements, and join the Gulf Coast Makers Consortium and keep the momentum going in building our Gulf Coast Makers Community!

 

Visit Plughitz F5 Live Refreshing Technology to see more great video and interviews from Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014!

Day One, Awesome Fun!

5 Apr

flickr We had a terrific first day at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014! The weather was gorgeous, making for picture perfect runs of the Electrathon racers, breezes under the trees where the blacksmith artists worked, and generally a perfect Florida spring day to celebrate innovation,  creativity and invention!

The battles raged at B.A.M., with some awesome robot matches,  and we got some nice press from the Tampa Tribune, Fox 13 News and Plughitz F5 Live Makercon schedulecoverage throughout the day.

Check out our Day 1 photo album on Flickr, and some of today’s videos and stories.  The fun resumes tomorrow at 1oam.  The presentation schedule’s been changed up a bit – check out the latest line up here.

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Are you Ready?!

4 Apr

IMG_5844 It’s almost time! The arena is set up for USF-RIGs Battles at MakerCon, IMG_5855the pennants are up by the entrance, the volunteers are prepped, we’ve got the Electrathon track mapped out, the programs are printed, the games are packed and waiting, the electronics are charging,  and the makers are marking time until the gates open at 10am tomorrow morning!

IMG_5849Advanced ticket sales end at midnight!

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Meet the Maker: Erik Heidt, of Drummerleash

4 Apr

drumerleash graphic

We’ve got a few more Makers for you to meet – here’s Erik Heidt, inventor of the Drummersleash – and also a drummer! We asked him to tell us something about his product, that he’ll be demoing at GulfCoastMakerCon.  Erik’s short on words, but big on ideas and we imagine you’ll like his sound this weekend!

GCMC: What do you do?

EH: I am a Industrial product designer and drummer.

GCMC: Why do you do it?

EH: Cause I have a passion to design cool stuff.
GCMC: What’s unique about what you’ve made?

EH: There’s no other product like the drummersleash on the market.

GCMC: What do you love about it?

EH: It solves the problem for drummers dropped drumsticks.

GCMC: Why might others be interested?

EH: This is a problem most drummers face due to hot or cold weather

GCMC: What inspired you to create DrummersLeash?

EH: Drummers wrapping tape around fingers to solve the problem.

GCMC: What are you bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon?

EH: Possibly an electric drum kit

GCMC: What do you hope to take from Gulf Coast MakerCon?

EH:Talking to other inventors and networking

GCMC: Why do you think an event like GCMC is important to the community?

EH: It inspires others to create things.

Come meet Erik, try out the Drummersleash – and get inspired!

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Thank you to the Unsung Heroes of Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014!

3 Apr

GCMC logo There are a lot of amazing people who make an event like Gulf Coast MakerCon not only possible, but fun and rewarding to create. We want to take a moment here, before we head into the Maker Maelstrom this weekend, to thank some of them, starting with our friends at Studio 7 Communications,  who created our fantastic Maker Skull and Cross-Tools logo!

Studio 7, which typically likes to keep a low profile despite all the fantastic good they do, Studio-7-1024x212is also a big supporter of FIRST Tech Challenge Team Duct Tape, and helped craft their awesome logo, too.   We’re very grateful to Studio 7 Communications for the gift of their talent and expertise.

We also want to thank Maker of All Trades Chuck Stephens, for the gifts of his amazing

2012 Maker Fair poster, by Chuck Stephens

2012 Maker Fair poster, by Chuck Stephens

artwork.  Chuck, a local artist and a volunteer with sponsor Learning is for Everyone,  created our first Maker Faire poster in 2012, still one of our favorite pieces.

Future is brightHis custom designs for this year’s Gulf Coast MakerCon event are equally fantastic, capturing the playful and somewhat rebellious spirit of our next generation DIY Celebration of the Inventive Spirit.

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TBICWe also want to thank Wayne Rasanen of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, for his energetic networking and nudging to help populate our Inventors Showcase with the amazing people who are joining us this weekend.

Many thanks, too, to Dominick Transcritti of  Suncoast Skirmishers, who has been coordinating our Tabletop Day event, which has  generated some of our most enthusiastic traffic and suncoast skirmishersinterest, with a lot of people looking forward to a day of tabletop game play on Saturday, and more opportunities to play on Sunday.

Sam McAmis, of the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group (USF-RIG) has been busy organizing B.A.M. (Battles at MakerCon) just for Gulf Coast MakerCon. BAM With 30 students from area high schools competing with 15 lb. class fighting robots, MakerCon guests will be treated to high energy battlebots competition all day Saturday.  And on Sunday, look for some creative destruction of old electronics with larger robots.  It’s been no small task organizing the competition and exhibitions, especially while trying to get through Engineering studies, so Sam has our deepest appreciation for his creative multitasking in the service of Gulf Coast MakerCon and celebratory robotics!

fairgroundsAnd  we can’t end our Makers Hymn of Praise and Thanks without a great big shout out to the Florida State Fairgrounds Authority!

Your Gulf Coast MakerCon organizers have put together a lot of different events in Tampa Bay – TEDxYouth, ROBOCON Tampa Bay, previous Maker festivals – and we’ve never encountered such amazingly warm, patient, collaborative, cooperative, and helpful venue representatives.  The Florida Fairgrounds staff has gone out of their way to make event planning smooth, helped us through logistical bumps, and generally exuded Florida Sunshine and hospitality with abundant generosity.

So if you happen to see anyone from the Fairgrounds at Gulf Coast MakerCon this weekend, or a quiet lady with FTC Team Duct Tape at the FIRST exhibit area, or a fellow with a cap and coveralls and some funky electronic musical devices, or a pleasant looking gentleman with glasses at the Tabletop game tables, or a somewhat wild haired guy officiating over the battle bots, stop and tell them thanks!

They’re some of the signature Makers of Gulf Coast MakerCon, and at the heart of everything that makes our Maker Community so excellent!

T -1 to Gulf Coast MakerCon!

3 Apr

t-shirts-c We’re Excited! Are You?!

The t-shirts are here!

The program is ready!

The Makers are pumped and the Volunteers are prepped!

All that’s missing is YOU!

Just one more day to get your discounted tickets for a weekend of creative awesomeness!

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Meet the Maker: Pamela French, of Pami Pocket

3 Apr

Pami at Spark n Hustle

Pamela French is one of our great commercial makers,  bringing her creation, “Pami Pocket ” to Gulf Coast MakerCon.   She’s also Vice
President of the Tampa Bay Inventor’s Council, one of our event partners, heading up our Inventors Showcase.  We asked her to tell us about herself and her product.

GCMC: What do you Make?

PF: A handy little neoprene cell phone holder for women called the “Pami Pocket”

GCMC: What got you interested in your product?

PF: I constantly found myself without pockets to hold my cell phone, but I always needed to have it on mePamiPocket. I thought there had to be a better way, but after I couldn’t find anything after searching in stores everywhere I decided to create it myself. My husband and I are the owners of an automotive upholstery shop so he sewed up the first Pami Pocket prototype in our backyard garage.

GCMC: What do you think makes it different from other similar products?

PF: Pami Pocket is different because it has a long, thin strap that can be worn across the body or around the neck. It’s made of neoprene so it’s water-resistant and Pami Pocket is so lightweight and soft, you’ll forget you even have it on. Pami Pockets are not just functional, they’re fashionable! They come in a variety of colors and rhinestone designs to choose from or you can get your own company or team logo design on a Pami Pocket!

GCMC: What are you bringing to MakerCon?

I hope sharing my experience and the things that did and didn’t work for me will help others who want to become inventors or “makers”. Of course I’ll be bringing the entire Pami Pocket line and am looking forward to sharing my handy product!

GCMC: What do you hope to take from MakerCon?

I’m expecting to have a great time meeting new people, networking and getting exposure for my product. I can’t wait to see all the other maker’s creative ideas and maybe even sell a few Pami Pockets along the way!

GCMC: Why do you think an event like MakerCon is important?

PF: MakerCon is one of the best ways to put yourself out there and share what you love. This is the perfect opportunity to meet other creative people and get inspired.

GCMC: Anything else you’d like to add?

I was just a mom working in the backyard when I came up with the Pami Pocket idea. I had no idea what to do, but by joining my local inventor’s club, I was able to learn and move forward much faster. I now have my product in boutiques and beach shops, and even a few local Walgreens and now am the Vice President of my local inventor’s club, the Tampa Bay Inventor’s Council!

Come see Pam French and her great Pami Pocket creations at Gulf Coast MakerCon this weekend! Discount tickets, good for the whole weekend, are available through April 4th.

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Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Program Now Online!

2 Apr

Program cover The Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Event Program is be printed as we write, and available here online for you right now, to download! (Many thanks to MityMo for stylistic support and to DEX Imaging for printing services!thumbs_tabletopday2014_600x500

Check out our great line up of Makers, and our list of pre-scheduled workshops and demos.   Many more demos will be posted on-site Saturday and Sunday, by Makers running presentations at their booths.

Saturday we’re celebrating International Tabletop Day all day, in our Gaming Corner.  There will be a National Robotics League competition – Battle at MakerCon – underway throughout the day, as well, in the Robotics area, thanks to USF-RIG, with 15 lb. and under fighting robots duking it out.  Sunday look for some smashing fun with bigger robots and the demise of old electronics.Gulf Coast MakerCon Makers and Floorplan

The weather’s looking fine, and there will be something for everyone to enjoy all weekend long!

Discount tickets good for the full weekend are available through Friday evening online at Eventbrite.

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Tickets at the gate on Saturday and Sunday are $15 for adults, for the day, and $8 for kids 6-12.  Children ages 5 and under are free.  Fairgrounds parking is $6.

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