4th Maker Fest begins in Ahmedabad on Friday

150 makers, 25 startups to showcase innovative products at 3-day event


Ahmedabad, Jan 4: Young innovative minds will vie for top honours and a possible ticket to Silicon Valley as they showcase their community-friendly products at the three-day Maker Fest, which gets underway here on January 6 as an all-age celebration of invention and creativity with the potential to create a social impact.

Innovators, artists, designers and even hobbyists are set to usher in the fourth edition of the Indian version of extremely popular 'Maker Faire' launched in California in 2006 and now with chapters all over the US, Europe, Japan and Africa.

The event is an initiative of US-based angel investor, serial investor, entrepreneur and firm backer of IT startups venture capitalist and philanthropist Asha Jadeja Motwani, who aims to promote the maker spirit in India.

A total of 150 makers and 25 startups are slated to showcase their products at the event which will have 45 technical and non-technical workshops and addresses by 15 inspirational speakers. It features innovation and experimentation across various fields, including science, engineering, art, performance and craft.  

"My vision is to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship in India at the grassroots level. My mission in creating and hosting Makerfest in India is to help design and co-create different ways in which students learn, young people earn livelihood and in general rethink what it means to lead a good life," Asha said.

Ahmedabad-born and California-based Asha is organising the fest through the Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation that she founded in memory of her late husband Rajeev Motwani who was advisor to many startups in the Silicon Valley and shot to fame as one of the mentors to Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin. 

Some of the Makers who will be exhibited at the Fest include 7-year-old Saarang Sumesh who was a star maker from 2016. The child prodigy is back this year with a smart seat belt with additional safety for the elderly and children. Others include a 15-year-old who has designed a product that aims to make life easy, and Evive, a portable one stop solution for the Internet of Things.

The keynote speaker is Emeka Okefor of TED.com who created Makerfaire Africa, with Asha's support.

Ahmedabad University is partnering the high-profile event with Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, of which Motwani is an alumnus. Around 30,000 attendees will be attending the event organised at School of Engineering and Applied Science, Navrangpura.

 

The  defining feature of the Maker Fest launched in 2014 was ‘Ideate, Build and Share’.

1000 Start-UPS, a NASSCOM initiative, is the Knowledge Partner, while Replenish, a worldwide movement for sustainable environment, is the partner. Mozilla India is collaborating with the event as ‘Friends’.

“The mission of Maker Fest is to create powerful little communities which can rethink learning and livelihood through unconventional and alternative but useful methods. It has the potential to spread across India to showcase makers, tinkerers, and doers of every stripe,” said Asha, who was born and raised in Ahmedabad before she migrated to the US for higher studies. 

Asha, who has invested in over 100 tech startups as angel investor, said a ‘Maker’ can be anyone — a tech-innovator, an artisan, a scientist, a robotics expert, a farmer, a homemaker, a doctor, a hobbyist — and in any age group and with any background.
 

ENDS

 

 

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