Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016 in Review

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Click image to enjoy Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016 slideshow!

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016, wrapped up Saturday, April 9, as our biggest and most successful event yet. The whole idea of the event is to create an opportunity to network and share skills, crafts, ideas, and innovations born and raised in our Florida Gulf Coast communities, and that’s exactly what we did.

As an independent and growing community Maker festival, Gulf Coast MakerCon is a DIY experience start to finish,  a Maker Party hosted by the makers, a tinkerers potluck, a crazy quilt of fun, wonder and innovation that keeps alive the American spirit of curiosity driven ingenuity, playfulness, and exploration.

Our exhibitors showcased the  inventive can-do spirit that characterizes the best of free-spirited 21st century innovation – unique uses of materials, and design processes, local inventors, unusual crafts and different applications of traditional skills and trades.  It was the ultimate Makers Variety Show! Continue reading

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Meet the Future Makers: SeedRegion1

KyleWe’ve got several great networking and resource organizations joining us this year, all evidence of the growing community of Makers spanning both sides of our Bays, from Tampa to Sarasota.  SeedRegion1 is one of them.

Kyle Nurminen, founder of SeedRegion1, is Account Manager for Crowther Roofing and Sheet Metal, a community oriented company based in Sarasota.  He became aware of the Maker community through his involvement in BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton.

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Meet the Maker: Brian Bombei, of Coaster Modeling Enthusiasts of FL

12108086_1007833282596090_947023373343035506_nBrian Bombei, the founder of Coaster Modeling Enthusiasts of Florida, makes something big – really big: roller coaster models out of K’Nex!  He told us a bit more about what he does and why he does it.

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Meet the Garden Maker: Loretta Buckner, of We Grow From Here

Loretta BucknerWe’re Making things indoors and out, this year, and planting the seeds of sustainability this year, with Loretta Buckner, owner and master gardener of We Grow from Here.

We Grow From Here was founded as a non-profit in 2010 to create community gardens, and has since blossomed into a full-time occupation for Loretta Buckner. She now runs two community garden projects, and with Real World Permaculture designs and installs permaculture ‘foodscapes’, sharing her knowledge with the community large and small in classes, workshops, and seminars.

We asked Loretta to tell us more about her organization and what she’ll be sharing with us at Gulf Coast MakerCon.


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Meet the Maker Support: FSBDC at Hillsborough County

County seal 2015SBDClogoWe’re really excited about all the great resource groups for Makers joining us this year.  One of our favorites is the wonderful but often underutilized Florida Small Business Development Center at Hillsborough County (FSBDC) .  Carol Johns, Director of the Hillsborough County FSBDC , told us more about what her office does.

The FSBDC at Hillsborough County provides professional and confidential one-on-one business consulting and no cost business training to help businesses in Hillsborough County start, grow and expand.  Consultants are degreed and certified in various areas of business development and growth and work with clients to complete strategic planning, financial planning, growth strategies, marketing strategies, business continuity, exit strategies, business purchases, loan packaging, patents, and taking products to market.

Working together, our team of consultants either provide services needed by our clients or help to identify resources available to reach the clients goals.

The Hillsborough County FSBDC office is housed at the Entrepreneurship Collaborative Center at 2101 E. Palm Avenue, in Ybor City in Tampa, another fantastic resource for Hillsborough County entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Stop by Booth 33 to visit with FSBDC at Hillsborough County to learn how they can help you.

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Meet the Makers: MakerVenture


A new exhibitor this year,  MakerVenture , is working to bridge ideas, and spaces to develop them, with the resources people need to be successful.

Cofounders  Matthew Mason and Brandom Mead told us a bit more about Maker Venture and what they’ll be sharing at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016 this weekend.

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