New England Maker Summit Will Return to West Hartford

Entrepreneurs will meet on Nov. 17 at the University of Hartford.

By Bernard Kavaler

“How Making Matters” will be the theme of the second annual New England Maker Summit, bringing together multi-disciplinary problem-solvers who take on obstacles with entrepreneurial creativity, finding innovative, out-of-the box solutions that lead to new products and new businesses.

The day-long Summit, to be held on Friday, Nov. 17 at the University of Hartford, will include sessions on advanced technologies and educational techniques, how companies and the public can get involved, how to increase a company’s competitive edge, and ways of engaging larger companies by utilizing rapid iteration solutions such as 3D printing, CNC machining and computer aided casting.

The Summit will include two tracks, one on education and community, the other focusing on business and manufacturing. Plenary sessions will focus on creating businesses around technologies, utilizing Making as a means of addressing the skills gap, and how best to nurture Makers as a future talent pool. Summit participants will learn the fundamentals of creating Maker programs, as well as how to access curriculum, kits and learning platforms.

Keynote speakers for the event will be Ryan D’Agostino, editor in chief of Popular Mechanics, and Bryan Dods, executive director, Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence at the United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford.

In addition, the Summit will feature a panel of candidates for statewide elected office discussing ways that state government can support the community as an economic engine. The panel will be moderated by Dennis House of WFSB, host of the public affairs program Face the State. Candidates will include Jonathan Harris, former commissioner of Consumer Protection and former West Hartford mayor.

“Making and Maker skills are a vital component to addressing critical concerns and helping to supply the missing pieces in the entrepreneurial and technological ecosystem in Connecticut,” said Devra Sisitsky, co-founder of MakerspaceCT and an organizer of the Summit. “New technologies require advanced skills, and we encourage the use of “Making” to help create employees who are multi-disciplinary problem solvers that can develop and advance out-of-the-box solutions.”

D’Agostino was named editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics in 2014. Previously, he was editor at Esquire for eight years, where his work was honored with two National Magazine Awards and a James Beard Award. Earlier in his career, he served as senior editor at Money magazine.

Dods has 30 years of manufacturing experience in various quality assurance, production management, and technology development roles in the aerospace and power generation industries. He will focus on the changing needs of technology and manufacturing in Connecticut, as well as developing our future workforce.

Registration is now open at www.makerspacect.com/nems2017/. The Summit will be held in the Gengras Student Union at the University of Hartford. The first annual event last year was attended by more than 250 people.

Supporters of the New England Maker Summit include MakerspaceCT, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Entrepreneurial Center – University of Hartford, Goodwin College, and Mastercam. For more information on the New England Maker Summit, contact Devra Sisitsky, 860-833-5465, [email protected].

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