Maker Fest returns to Ahmedabad for fourth year

3-day fest to feature inventions, explore industry tie-ups


Ahmedabad, Jan 5:   From an LPG stove that tells you when it needs refilling to a device that demonstrates how you receive a brainwave and another that offers waste management solutions for landfills, a range of community friendly products take the centerstage at the three-day Maker Fest that begins here from tomorrow.

The Ahmedabad University campus is hosting the fourth edition of the Indian version of the popular ‘Maker Faire’ launched in California in 2006, with chapters now all over the US, Europe, Japan and Africa.

The event was brought to India in 2013 by 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.

"With roots in the Open Source movement that gave our planet Linux, Mozilla, Wikipedia and Apache as a free gift by anonymous programmers, the power of the Maker movement lies in its philosophy of unconditional giving and problem solving. 

“The spontaneous coming together of like-minded people united around problem solving in their own immediate communities is what gives maker groups their strong local roots,” said Asha.

A total of 150 makers and 25 startups will be displaying their innovations at the event that will have 45 technical and non-technical workshops and addresses by 15 inspirational speakers. 

"The gifts that my late husband Prof Rajeev Motwani gave the world are not limited to Google. That is just the tip of an iceberg.  What he, and perhaps I too, really created is an empire of goodwill, openness, unconditional giving and relationships based on trust, brilliance and affection,” the entrepreneur said.  "This is the real gift that Rajeev and I always wanted to bring to India.”  

The Maker Fest will see a stellar lineup of speakers, including Dr Jan Jannick who teaches at Stanford and Dale Stephens who started the Uncollege movement.

The two, said Asha, belong to a trusted network which she likes to call the New Global Mind.  “They are here in Ahmedabad to exchange with us ideas about the exponential growth and the power of computation in leapfrogging,” Asha said.

Among the keynote speakers are Emeka Okefor of TED.com who created Makerfaire Africa, with Asha’s support, and V Sunil, the design brain behind the ‘Make in India’ movement.

Makers from schools and colleges have been given a chunk of space at the event with workshops for them. The young innovative minds will also vie for a ticket to Silicon Valley 

Child prodigy, 8-year-old Saarang Sumesh a star maker from 2016 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. 

“I will take some of the makers to Silicon Valley to participate in Maker Faire there,” Asha said.

The festival will also offer opportunities for startups to pitch to industry representatives.  

The Maker Fest is organised by the Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation that Asha 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.

Previous editions of the event were hosted on university campuses beginning with the National Institute of Design (NID) in 2014, the CEPT in 2015 and this year’s edition is being held at the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).

ENDS

 

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