Nice video about Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 from Wayne Rasanen, inventor of the In10Did keyboard, and president of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, one of our Gulf Coast MakerCon partners. Thank you, Wayne!
Gulf coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s 3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit brought everything from Blacksmith Artists, to Electric Race Cars and 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 covering 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!
In 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 who 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!
And 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!
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, is 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
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.
His 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.
We 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 interest, 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. 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!
And 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!
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 me. 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.
We’ve got some great inventors showcasing some awesomely cool inventions at Gulf Coast MakerCon this year, and one of them is Todd Emmons, with his Bait Dipper, built just for the avid fisher person in your life!
We asked Todd about the Bait Dipper and his upcoming visit to Gulf Coast Maker Con. As you can see, Todd likes fishing, and also the opportunity to make a positive impact through what he loves to do - invent – and fish!
GCMC: What do you do?
TE:Invent new products.
GCMC: What inspired you do it?
TE: The love of fishing.
GMCM: What makes your invention different from other things that are already available?
TE: It solves a problem of retrieving live bait from a bait well or bucket.
GCMC: What will you be sharing at Gulf Coast MakerCon?
TE: The Bait Dipper. All-In-One, Aerator, Flashlight, Tackle Box & Flip Top Opening with Bait Window.
GCMC: Is this what you do full time?
TE: We are working our way there. We also are owners of an internet marking company and a construction firm.
GCMC: What do you love best about your work/product?
TE: Sharing our vision on helping out our community and being around something we love ( Fishing )
GCMC: Why do you think an event like Gulf Coast Maker Con is important?
TE: So we can inspire others, that they can do what ever they set their minds to do. Also It is part of our branding efforts as we try to attend all expos trade shows and festivals. Networking is another great source for information on advancing your product.
GCMC: What do you hope to get out of participating in Gulf Coast MakerCon?
TE: Brand awareness, helping others, and a great time meeting new people.
GCMC: Anything else you’d like to add?
TE: Yes! Whatz Up Products Inc. with the manufacturing and assembly of the “Bait Dipper” is partnering with the Transformational Learning Center a division of Broken Beautiful Ministries, Inc. a Christ-based organization whose vision is to bring hope to a targeted area in West Pasco County, Florida by bringing together businesses to teach, train, equip and encourage individuals who are caught in a cycle of entitlement or who are re-entering into society from jail, prison time or the less fortunate. This transformation will be achieved through job training and discipleship which in turn creates self-esteem that comes from working and taking pride in their accomplishments.
You will feel a sense pride as well that you are helping make a difference in the lives of so many and that the product is “United States of America Made”.
We hope you’re inspired by the Emmonses obvious pride in their work, and come see their BaitDipper and other great creations at Gulf Coast MakerCon!
The Tampa Bay Inventors Council (TBIC) is a long time friend and partner of LI4E, and we’re delighted to welcome them to Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, where they’re hosting the Florida Inventors Showcase. We talked to Wayne Rasanen, president of TBIC, to learn a bit more about his great organization and what they’re bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.
GCMC: What do you do?
WR: I help coordinate the Tampa Bay Inventors Council meetings and activities plus, plus, plus…
GCMC: Why do you do it?
WR: Inventors need guidance to avoid getting ripped-off by bad actors so TBIC provides a forum where inventors can meet to share their experience.
GCMC: Why do you think it’s important or valuable?
WR: America is great because of the ideas we generate and the businesses we build. Helping that process is vital.
GCMC: How long have you been part of TBIC?
WR: Although I first attended in 1996, I have been active with the board since 2003 and president for the past eight years.
GCMC: What do like best about TBIC?
WR: I like helping people learn and connect with opportunities. When an inventor makes it on the market I’m thrilled to have helped.
GCMC: What are you bringing for folks to see or do at Gulf Coast MakerCon?
WR: TBIC has been involved with Maker events for several years and know that it is a rewarding place to be. I will be bringing my keyboard innovation but several inventors will be showing what they are working on.
GCMC: What do you hope to get out of your Makercon experience?
WR: Feedback on product development is a big plus but it is great to see what others are doing to help fuel our creative minds.
GCMC: Anything else you’d like to add?
WR: Come hungry to learn and you will leave all filled up!
As you can see, Wayne’s a busy man of few words – but as you’ll be able to see at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, he’s definitely a man of action, leading a great group of not just thinkers but awesome doers! Among the inventions that will be on display on behalf of TBIC:
- S.A.C. See Around Camera
- Bait Dipper
- Window Watcher
- Pedicure Pedestal
- The Tiger Tiller and
- Wayne’s own In10Did, one hand mobile keyboard
So head out to Gulf Coast MakerCon April 5th and 6th, come hungry to learn – we’ll fill your plate up!
We’re delighted to welcome
- The Heroes Alliance, turning cosplay into community service
- The Tampa Bay Inventors Council, anchoring a Florida Inventors Showcase at our event
- Electrathon of Tampa Bay bringing student built Electrathon and Junior Solar Sprint cars
- The USF Robotics Interest Group (USF-RIG) with 15 lb class fighting robot competitions
Early bird tickets are on sale through February 28th !
LI4Es Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 will feature festivals within our festival, with a Youth Maker Festival, Robotics competitions and exhibits, and a Florida Inventors Showcase, hosted in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, one of our event partners.
Want to be part of the Showcase? Include “Inventors Showcase” in the comments section of your Makers application here .
We’re also looking for educational and commercial exhibitors who can showcase the celebratory spirit of innovation and inventiveness. We’re looking for Makers who provide interesting, interactive, and engaging experiences and innovative waresthat can help educate, inspire and motivate event goers to become active and empowered makers in their own lives.
- Student Projects
- Music Performance and Participation
- 3D Printers and CNC Mill
- Heritage crafts and trades
- Green Tech
- Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
- Electric Vehicles
- Biology/Biotech and Chemistry Projects
- Food and Beverage Makers
- Bicycle tech
- Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
- Unusual Tools or Machines and much more!
Earlybird registration runs through Feb. 28th and is just $30 for a Family/Friend 4 pack or $15 per person, for both days. Individual advanced tickets for children ages 5-12 are just $8 for both days. Children under age 5 are free! Ticket costs at the gate, the day of the event, will be $15/day adults (13+); $8/day for kids ages 5-12.
On October 1st, the Tampa Bay Inventors Council invites everyone to help them celebrate their 30th anniversary at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter, 13805 58th St. N. in Clearwater. Guests will see the innovations and ideas nurtured by local inventors, and get to see Former Shark, Kevin Harrington of As Seen on TV, My Cool Inventions radio hosts Akos Jankura & John Cremeans, and TBIC founder Ronald Smith. There will be tables for inventors to show their ideas, speeches from guests and inventors will pitch their ideas and innovations.
See the attached flyer for more information. Register online at http://www.meetup.com/TBIC-us/events/137074852
Mark your calender for Tuesday, October 1st from 4-8 pm, and join the Tampa Bay Inventors Council to celebrate 30 years of Innovation in Tampa Bay!