See You Tonight at “The Maker Revolution: From Workbench to Business”

4/27/11Follow @wroush

When people talk about the barriers to entrepreneurship coming down, it doesn’t just apply to Internet startups anymore. These days, it’s getting easier and cheaper for any creative person to get access to the design software, machine tools, and other technology they need to turn their ideas for physical products into real businesses. Just look at Dodocase, the hot iPad case maker that did its early prototyping and production work at TechShop in Menlo Park, CA.

Exactly what forms this trend is taking is the subject of a free forum and networking event tonight at TechShop’s new facility in San Francisco. Entitled “The Maker Revolution: From Workbench to Business,” it’s something I’ve been co-organizing with TechShop communications director Carrie Motamedi, and it’s going to bring together some amazing local innovators and business leaders to talk about the product innovation ecosystem in San Francisco and the resources available to craftsmen-turned-entrepreneurs.

We’ll kick off with a keynote talk from Alex Michel of Forest City, the development company that’s working to transform the entire city block where TechShop is located into a kind of innovator’s haven called 5M.

Then I’ll moderate a panel discussion including Mark Hatch, the CEO of TechShop; Paul Spinrad, the executive editor of Make Magazine, the bible of DIY technology enthusiasts; Kate Sofis, the executive director of SFMade, a non-profit promoting manufacturing industries in San Francisco; and Andy Filo, a veteran inventor known as the brains behind the i-Cybie robot dog.

To finish, we’ll hear brief presentations from leaders at four local companies that exemplify the maker-to-entrepreneur trend, including Craig Dalton, co-founder and president of Dodocase; Christina Chao, business development manager for Embrace, which is developing the Embrace Infant Warmer; Ted McBain, the founder and CEO of Innerlock Electric; and Perrin Lam from specialty jewelry maker Novo Deco.

There will also be refreshments, great networking, and tours of TechShop’s gorgeous facility. I hope you can join us from 6:00 to 8:30 pm tonight at TechShop, at 926 Howard Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. It’s a free event but we ask that you register here.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://www.dailygrommet.com Jules Pieri, CEO Daily Grommet

    Wade,

    Delighted you are co-organizing this and wish we could be there. Please be eyes and ears for Daily Grommet…and send any interesting people with potential Grommets our way. We’d love to help them get liftoff.