In his book How Innovation Works, Matt Ridley defines invention and innovations as different things. The creation or invention of a product is not the same as developing a product that meets a need and becomes useful. For makers, this often means making the transition from prototype to product, as well as developing the capabilities to market the product.
Maker incubators offer support for makers who want to turn physical prototypes into products that, in turn, can become businesses. To achieve these goals, an incubator can build connections with mentors and among makers to help develop a local or regional ecosystem that encourages and connects people and services.
COVID-19 represents a challenge, as well as an opportunity, for what incubators do and how they work with makers. Just as makerspaces became the hubs for the rapid response to COVID-19 through PPE production, how might maker incubators foster the kind of cooperative environment for innovations that involve more people and benefit local and regional economies?
Join Dale Dougherty of Make Community and Dorothy Jones-Davis of Nation of Makers along with the following panelists.
- Sal Bednarz is Partner at the Port Product Lab.
- Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics.
- Cheryl Kennedy is the Executive Director of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy, NY.
- Gina Lujan is a Social Entrepreneur, focusing on building community, business development, innovation, strategic planning and regional economic development at Hacker Lab.
- Errin Stanger is the Deputy Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.
- Dr. Pierce Gordon is an independent innovation catalyst, researcher, facilitator, and evaluator who specializes in interdisciplinary research.
- Haven Allen is the CEO and co-founder of MHub.
- Shannon McGhee is Director of Marketing for MHub.
- Megan McNally is co-founder of The Foundry, a makerspace in Buffalo, NY.