Maker Startup Weekend Bay Area Kicks off with a Bang

Maker Startup Weekend Bay Area Kicked off with a bang at 9am as the TechShop opened its doors. The crowd flooded in anxious to sign up for the classes being offered throughout the day including:

• Laser Cutting
• 3D Printing
• Autodesk 123D Make
• Arduino
• Sewing
• Wood Shop

I took the Laser cutting class first, and I was just amazed at how easy it actually is. Just change your Adobe Illustrator files a little bit, make some adjustments to the Laser cutter, and bam! You have an arcrylic key!

I then went into an Arduino class. This was super interesting because I’ve never worked with circuits before. It is remarkable how much is available through open source now! However, I found myself getting a little lost with all the wires going around! Here is a picture of John building a circuit with LED lights, looks like Knight Rider!

My third session was on 3D printing. I felt so dumb after this class! It is so remarkable what is possible but I felt like I would need to spend a lot of time working with the 3D software to really master it. The Makers here make it look so easy!

After we wrapped up, we rolled right into the Classic Startup Weekend format. Dale Dougherty from Make Magazine kicked it off with an inspiring talk. A few key opportunities for makers:

  1. Customers pay for physical things, just make physical things people want.
  2. Take existing scientific instrumentation and update the user interfaces so you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to use these things.
  3. Make cool machines that let others make other cool things.

Next up! The pitches!

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