Second annual Miami Mini Maker Faire will provide more opportunities for makers and young entrepreneurs; 4,000 people expected to attend

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MIAMade launches new programs to support Miami’s growing maker community

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"Miami joins the #NationofMakers" by Ric Herrero on Knight Blog

MIAMI—June 30, 2014— MIAMade will host the second annual Miami Mini Maker Faire to help foster the city’s innovation community with $105,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The support will also help establish two other programs as part of MIAMade’s 2014 Miami Makers Initiative, the Wynwood Maker Camp, which will introduce youth to innovative tinkering and thinking, and the DesignLife Make-a-thon, a competition to develop home and lifestyle products with the latest maker technologies.

The second Miami Mini Maker Faire will take place on Nov. 8, 2014, bringing together makers, technologists, artists, entrepreneurs and other do-it yourself enthusiasts in the city’s Wynwood district. Based on the success of the 2013 event, this year the Mini Maker Faire will expand to include 120 maker exhibits; close to 4,000 people are expected to attend. Held in November 2013, the inaugural event drew 1,700 people and hosted 60 exhibits. 

In addition to the Miami Mini Maker Faire, MIAMade is also launching the first-ever Wynwood Maker Camp and DesignLife Make-a-thon to further connect and bolster the city’s innovation ecosystem. 

The Wynwood Maker Camp immerses approximately 85 students, ages 8-15, in a collaborative, hands-on environment to work on independent projects covering electronics, microcomputers, virtual reality, 3-D printing, collaboration, communications and entrepreneurship.  Completed projects will be invited to participate in the Miami Mini Maker Faire.  The camp is offering two-week programs throughout the summer, ending Aug. 15; visit wynwoodmakercamp.com for more information.

The DesignLife Make-a-thon is a weekend-long competition that will ask participants to develop prototypes for home and lifestyle products using different types of maker technology, such as 3-D printers and CNC mills.  Winners will get prizes and advice on submitting ideas to invention marketplaces. They will also be part of a special exhibition in the Mini Maker Faire.  The event will take place in the fall prior to the Miami Mini Maker Faire.

“These programs will help foster Miami’s innovation ecosystem by connecting and supporting the city’s emerging community of entrepreneurs, startups and makers,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “In this way, we can make Miami stronger by creating a space where talent thrives and residents have more opportunities to engage.”

“The Miami Makers Initiative is just the latest in our efforts to foster a vibrant maker culture in South Florida through programs that encourage a new generation of DIY innovators and entrepreneurs to share their talents and hone their skills,” said MIAMade co-founder Ric Herrero. “Our programs and events will serve as a bellwether of sorts for how far we’ve come as a creative community, and how far we have to go.”

Support for MIAMade forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and opportunity. Over the past 18 months Knight has made more than 50 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida. 

For more information on MIAMade please visit: http://www.miamade.org/

About MIAMade

MIAMade is a Florida nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable maker culture in the Greater Miami area. For more information, visit us at miamade.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.

CONTACTS:

Ric Herrero, Co-founder, MIA Made, 305-905-9452, ric@miamade.org

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

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