Kate Drane is Indiegogo’s Engagement Lead, working with small businesses and community leaders to help them create successful crowdfunding campaigns. She is also the co-founder of The Can Van, a mobile beer canning company, servicing craft breweries, which was launched into business with the funds and market validation they garnered on the Indiegogo platform. She has consulted with Getaround, Triple Pundit and Sustainable Industries. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Butler University and M.B.A. in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School where she honed her skills and passion for social media, networking, community building and the sharing economy.
Innovation and nostalgia, at times, can be at odds. However, for Sherry Huss, maker-in-chief of O’Reilly Media’s Make group, syncing innovation and nostalgia is what constructs their group’s unique events. And that is why Maker Faire principally strives towards creating cutting-edge spaces that have a throwback family-friendly appeal.
The first Maker Faire began in 2006 in San Francisco, and attracted 22,000 attendees and 346 maker entries. The following two years it expanded into Austin, where it attracted 52,000 attendees and 756 makers. In 2010, Detroit and New York were also added as host cities. And in 2011, more than 170,000 attendees and 1,500 makers were accounted for between San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. Not to mention over two-dozen Mini Maker Faires have sprung up across the U.S. in conjunction with the major events.
For Huss, developing Maker Faire began with focusing on how to style the event differently, to appeal to its culture of exhibitors and visitors. “I knew what I didn’t want, I didn’t want a convention center, I didn’t want pipe and drape,” Huss says.
Huss instead tapped into mid-20th century Americana for inspiration: the county fair, to give each Maker Faire a vintage feel to its approach—that being an exposition of “makers” and innovators, similar to county or world’s fairs from decades past.
Yet, Maker Faire exhibitors and visitors are anything but dated. “We have reinvented the county fair—instead now it’s rockets and robots,” Huss says. The event showcases forward-looking and groundbreaking attendee-generated innovations. Because of that, Huss states “we break a lot of rules.”
Innovator and inventor Saul Griffith has a uniquely open approach to problem solving. Whether he’s devising a way to slash the cost of prescription eyeglasses or teaching science through cartoons, Griffith makes things and then shares his ideas with the world.A proponent of open-source information, he established Instructables , an open website showing how to make an array of incredible objects. He is the co-founder of numerous companies including Squid Labs, Low Cost Eyeglasses, Potenco and Makani Power, where he is President and Chief Scientist. His companies have invented a myriad of new devices and materials, such as a “smart” rope that senses its load, or a machine for making low-cost eyeglass lenses through a process inspired by a water droplet. He is a columnist at Makemagazine and co-writes How Toons! He’s fascinated with materials that assemble themselves, and with taking advantage of those properties to make things quickly and cheaply.
Colin Mutchler is Co-Founder & CEO of LoudSauce, a platform for crowds to reach targeted audiences with video ad buys on national TV and online. For over a decade, he’s been exploring how digital culture can accelerate momentum towards a fair and sustainable economy. His previous experience includes driving strategic digital campaigns at leading agencies R/GA and Addis Creson, and at the national youth media network Listen Up!. He is also a musician and poet who’s work has been remixed legally by hundreds of musicians, resulting in the collaboratively produced album “Premixed” and his acclaimed “Free Culture Tour” promoting participation in the Creative Commons. Colin has an MBA from INSEAD (Singapore & France), a degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Certificate in Internet Law from Stanford.
Ted Southern is a sculptor, costume maker, and inventor from Brooklyn, New York. For the last 4 years, Ted has been developing a new generation of space suit gloves, in coordination with Nikolay Moiseev, a Russian spacesuit fabricator. In November 2009, Ted and Nik outperformed NASA’s current Phase VI spacesuit gloves, and won second place in NASA’s Astronaut Glove Challenge. While at Eyebeam, Ted will be digitally developing the complicated patterns for these gloves, including pressure restraints and the Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment, and modeling hard and soft patterns for a new, complete low cost pressure suit.
Ted received a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 2007, and attended the University of Puget Sound for his undergrad in French Horn performance. He works as a costume and prop fabricator in Manhattan, and lives with his partner, the designer Flora Gill.
Kyle Doerksen got his start in innovation and entrepreneurship early by competing in and winning at the Canada Wide Science Fair – with projects ranging from fractal image compression to finding landmines with ground penetrating radar. As an undergrad at Stanford, Kyle designed his own interdisciplinary Neuroengineering major and later got his masters in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked at IDEO Palo Alto for 7 years managing projects and designing electromechanical systems for kids toys, bio-medical devices, consumer electronics, and low-cost electricity generation. In his spare time, Kyle is obsessed with flying machines and electric vehicle design – he recently was part of the team that launched Faraday Bikes, which won the Oregon Manifest’s People’s Choice award in Portland earlier this year. From electric skateboards to scooters to trikes to bicycles to whatever he dreams up next, Kyle is busy designing the next generation of technology for our dynamic, beautiful world.
Lucid Lovers is the combined expression of the inspiration that Kristina Hakola and Dave Amato have in life. Together they create soulful music with heartfelt melodies and thoughtful poetic lyrics. Liquid guitar sounds blend with powerful vocals, giving Lucid Lovers’ an honest and uplifting sound.
Mads is a Danish-American violinist, violist, and composer. Tolling won Grammy Awards for “Best classical crossover album” as part of Turtle Island Quartet’s recordings 4+Four (2006) and A Love Supreme – The Legacy of John Coltrane (2008). Tolling also recorded on Stanley Clarke’s The Toys of Men (2007). He is currently first violinist with the Turtle Island Quartet, soloist with bassist Stanley Clarke’s band, and bandleader of his solo project the Mads Tolling Quartet.
Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tolling relocated to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music where he graduated Summa Cumme Laude in 2003. Tolling received Denmark’s Sankt Annae’s Award for Musical Excellence as well as grants from Queen Margaret, the Sonning Foundation and the Berklee Elvin Jones Award. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music, Tolling has toured worldwide with the Stanley Clarke band and Turtle Island Quartet. Tolling has also performed with Al Di Meola, Kenny Barron, Paquito D’Rivera, and Leo Kottke.
Consultant, Author, TED Veteran
Nilofer Merchant spent her early career working at companies like Apple. After getting hired (and then subsequently fired) by Carol Bartz of Autodesk, she founded and led a multi-million dollar consulting firm that helped companies like Symantec, Nokia and Adobe. From all that big company experience, she wrote a book to help big companies act flatter and be nimble, called The New How. Today, she advises, invests and writes. Most notably, covering the topics of collaboration, innovation and the human condition — for Harvard Business Review.
Academic, Researcher, Writer and Entrepreneur
Vivek Wadhwa is a senior research associate with the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, an executive in residence/adjunct professor at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, and a visiting scholar at the School of Information at University of California at Berkeley. He helps students prepare for the real world, lectures in class and leads groundbreaking research projects. He is also an advisor to several start-up companies, a columnist for BusinessWeek.com, a contributor to the popular tech blog, TechCrunch, and writes occasionally for several international publications. Prior to joining academia in 2005, Wadhwa was a technology entrepreneur, who founded two software companies.
Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder, Pereira & OʼDell
PJ Pereira is Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Pereira & O’Dell with 20 years of experience in the technology and advertising industry. A seasoned entrepreneur, PJ has held executive roles both at start up agencies such as AgenciaClick, which PJ also founded, to established international agencies such as AKQA where he was ECD working on global accounts such as McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola, Visa, Red Bull, Target and Microsoft. He has received more than 60 international awards during the last 10 years and has served as President of juries at Cannes Lions, London International and One Show Festivals.
President and Co-Founder, Rose Park Advisors
Whitney Johnson dared to disrupt when she began her Wall Street career as a secretary, and eventually rising to become an Institutional Investor-ranked sell-side analyst. She is the president and co-founder of the Clayton M. Christensen’s investment firm Rose Park Advisors – Disruptive Innovation Fund, and a regular contributor for the Harvard Business Review blogs. Ms. Johnson has been described as an “investor in stocks, people concepts, and dreams.” She and her husband reside with their two children in Boston, Massachusetts.
Founder and CEO, BranchOut
Rick Marini has been a pioneer in online social media for over a decade. Prior to founding BranchOut, Rick was the Founder & CEO of SuperFan, a profitable social entertainment site that produced social games for world-class companies including CBS, MTV, Sony, Universal Music, etc. Prior to founding SuperFan, Rick was the Co-Founder, CFO & Chief Strategist for Tickle.com. Tickle was one of the largest social media sites on the Internet. In 2002, Tickle won the “Rising Star” Webby Award as the fastest growing site on the Web and became a top 20 global Internet site with 200 million registered users. In 2004, Tickle was acquired by Monster Worldwide for over $100 million. Rick currently serves on the Advisory Boards of HR.com, Fwix, Lumos Labs, Founder’s Den, Stipple, FIGHTER, and Friendster.