The first Mini Maker Faire lands in Miami; resounding success!

Let us put to rest any doubt of South Florida’s amazing resourcefulness. The first Miami Mini Maker Faire was the collection of nearly 80 maker exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and presentations. Not only did the first Mini Maker Faire display a diverse spectrum of creativity, but it attracted over 1700 attendees  over the course of the 8 hour event from Miami, the tri-county area, and beyond.

As producers for a first-of-its-kind event in Miami, it was very exciting and gratifying to see the community; most importantly children and their parents; engrossing themselves in the energy and excitement that was teeming throughout The LAB Miami, The Light Box and OCinema. We are incredibly thankful for the passionate makers who believed in our ability to execute on this grandiose vision.

I personally walked through and spoke with each maker I could find and can share that they felt as warmly about the reception as the production team did.

Just want to send you a real big “Thank You” for allowing us to participate in your successful event.  The crowd was amazing and the exhibitions exceeded everyone’s expectations.
- Edwin Robledo, Cadsoft Computer via email

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It was a wonderfully successful Maker Faire and a huge kickstart to what will no doubt be a productive movement for the South Florida community. One of the things I have always respected, and think has been a key to the success of the Maker Movement, has been that it celebrates the people who get it done more than the people who hype.

I know my kids had a great time and our program has received wonderful feedback from parents with young children who see these hands-on learning activities as a supplement/alternative to traditional education and are looking for programs that provide that.
- Ryan Moreno, REM Learning Center via email
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The Twitterverse was busy with nothing but wonderful things to say about our event!

We also had some great coverage from others who weren’t entirely sure what the whole maker movement was. We are happy that the Miami Mini Maker Faire was a great catalyst which sparked some interesting questions. See clip from Fusion TV:

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And we had some GREAT coverage from our partners and sponsors. Here are a few excerpts:

The turnout far exceeded expectations for the fair — part science and technology exhibition, part crafts show, part carnival. More than 1,700 people packed The LAB Miami, a co-working, education and events space for creatives, and two other nearby venues in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.

Creativity, technology and innovation overflowed The LAB Miami co-working space in Wynwood during Miami’s first Mini Maker Faire.

The event, supported by Knight Foundation, offered the opportunity for South Florida makers and do-it-yourself innovators to showcase their products and ideas. The Faire attracted throngs of people of all ages and backgrounds, showing the growing interest in Miami as a place where ideas are built.

Read more from the Knight Foundation blog at http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2013/11/22/miamis-first-mini-maker-faire-colorful-community-collision/

“There are so many international communities in Miami, and they have a history of being very resourceful – they are makers by necessity, and it is great to see them show off their creativity.”

Coverage from MAKE Blog can be found at http://makezine.com/2013/11/16/miami-mini-maker-faire-2013/

Inventors, startup companies and nonprofit groups displayed innovations at the first ever Miami Mini Maker Faire in the city’s hip Wynwood neighborhood on Saturday.

Read an article from South Florida Business Journal reporter Paul Brinkmann at http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/morning-edition/2013/11/see-what-happened-at-hip-miami-maker.html

And, of course, we want to thank our sponsors from the bottom of our toolbags. Without your support, we would not have been able to share this fantastic experience. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 

Our Generous Sponsors
Make
The Knight Foundation
Miami Science Museum
REM Learning Center
WB Engineering
Jaycon Systems
KIND Snacks
Speck Products
Refresh Miami

For a finale, I will leave everyone with this music montage of some of the amazing experience wrapped up into a few short minutes. There is plenty more to come and you can guarantee that we’ll be coming back  in 2014.

Sincerely,
The Miami Mini Maker Faire Production Team
Ric Herrero, MIA Made
Mike Greenberg, South Florida Hack and Tell
Danny Lafuente, The LAB Miami
Steve Luis, FIU Computing and Information Sciences
Vivian Martell, O Cinema

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Rain or Shine the FAIRE GOES ON!

With an overwhelming majority of indoor exhibits, the Miami Mini Maker Faire will be in full force today – rain or shine (thankfully, the forecast is looking much better!). Enjoy a day with family, friends, and fellow maker enthusiasts for an event that promises to amaze, dazzle, and inspire!

More than 60 exhibitors will be on-site – from skilled craftsmen demonstrating their trade to cutting-edge techies showing off some of the latest advances including 3D printing, robotics, and the Oculus Rift (virtual reality).

With workshops for all ages, food trucks, and live music, the Miami Mini Maker Faire has got something for everyone!

See you all today!

Parking & Official Program

PARKING: The entrance to the Miami Mini Maker Faire is through the front entrance of the LAB Miami, located at 400 NW 26th Street, Miami, FL 33127. There is plenty of metered and free parking throughout the Wynwood area, including the blocks surrounding each venue. There is also a free parking lot available across the street from the NW 25th street entrance to the LAB Miami. Make sure not to park in any area with yellow stripe along the sidewalk as these are “no parking” zones and your car may be towed.

OFFICIAL PROGRAM: Our inaugural year’s program is jam-packed with fun interactive exhibits and presentations. DOWNLOAD the printed Official Program guide HERE: MMMF Program 2013.

We’re can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!

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Reel Maker Stories: free documentary screenings at O Cinema during Miami Mini Maker Faire

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We will have complimentary screenings of two must-see, maker themed documentaries at O Cinema Wynwood as part of Miami Mini Maker Faire this Saturday!

First up, Bots High, at 11:00am and 2:30pm. Bots High follows three teams of high school robotics geeks who build and battle their way to a national robotics competition in Miami. Funny, smart, and inspiring, these kids navigate high school, adolescence, and first love while reducing enemy bots to shards of scrap metal.

The second complimentary documentary screening at this Saturday’s Faire is Spark: A Burning Man Story. Showtimes are 12:30pm and 4:00pm. Spark: A Burning Man Story brings audiences behind-the-scenes of the legendary celebration, shining a light on the triumphs and challenges of the artists fighting harsh realities to keep their ideals of unbridled freedom and community alive.

Both are fantastic and you won’t want to miss them!

Showtimes:
Bots High – 11:00am and 2:30pm
SPARK: A Burning Man Story – 12:30pm and 4:00pm 

O Cinema is located at 90 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. We will have a double-decker bus available for complimentary rides from The LAB Miami to O Cinema and back throughout the length of the Faire.

Worth a Thousand Words: Pics from World Maker Faire and Orlando Mini Maker Faire

Some folks have asked us “so what sort of things can I expect to see at the Miami Mini Maker Faire?”

Words often fail to do justice to the wonderful projects you’ll find at a Maker Faire, but pictures can help give a better idea. Check out our Facebook photo albums from our recent trips to World Maker Faire in NYC (here) and Orlando Mini Maker Faire (here) for a glimpse at what you can expect to see on November 16th!

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Miami Mini Maker Faire goes on press circuit

We’ve been crazy busy trying to get everyone on point for the 16th, but came up for air just long enough last night to notice we have been featured in several media channels over the past few days! Here’s a quick take on the action:

Nancy Dahlberg is a business and tech writer over at the Miami Herald and writes a blog which covers the South Florida tech scene called “The Starting Gate“. She’s been busy getting into the maker community which has been gaining incredible momentum here in South Florida. Last Thursday, she published this beautiful piece of coverage about our community and what we’ve been brewing.

[...] to showcase all the activity, a Miami Mini Maker Faire, a one-day extravaganza for all things handmade, is coming to three locations in Wynwood next month. There, about 60 makers will exhibit their creations — including a school bus converted into a micro-theater, a high-tech, high-def pinball machine and, possibly, [Brian] Weiner’s 16-foot biplane made from bamboo. There also will be presentations, workshops and activities for all ages at the Mini Maker Faire, which is expected to draw about 1,000. “It’s a great place to bring your kids,” said organizer Rick Herrero.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/23/v-fullstory/3707942/maker-movement-grows-in-south.html

The rest of the article describes new makerspaces which are popping up all over South Florida and includes a gallery of photos from various events in the community. This, alone, was great! Little did we know that the story would be appearing in print on the FRONT PAGE of the Miami Herald.

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We shared the HELL out of that story and got some incredible attention! The next day, we were covered in the South Florida Business Journal.

DIY experts and fanatics are getting together in Wynwood Nov. 16 to share their work and their enthusiasm for things like robotics and 3D printing.

Read more here: http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/morning-edition/2013/10/robotics-3d-printing-and-diy-creation.html
Oscar Pedro Musibay
 reporting.

And the coup de grâce was discovering that we had been featured on the front page of the Make Blog.

“The Miami Mini Maker Faire is one part of a plan to build a sense of community among these local makers and connect them with a larger global movement.” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director in Miami.

Read more here: http://makezine.com/2013/10/25/feel-the-heat-maker-faire-coming-to-miami/
Thank you for sharing, Stett Holbrook

As a community organizer and advocate of the maker movement, it is incredibly gratifying to be able to produce an event like the Miami Mini Maker Faire which has the ability to attract so many creatives across such a diverse set of disciplines; not to mention the reception this event has received from the community. We greatly look forward to seeing you on November 16th.

If you don’t already know, Miami Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the maker movement. Get tickets to join us on November 16th in Wynwood!

Written by Mike Greenberg, producer for the Miami Mini Maker Faire and a director for Hacklab North Boynton, a non-profit makerspace in Palm Beach County.

The Knight Foundation leads the Maker Movement in Miami

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The Knight Foundation is a powerhouse catalyst for the tech community in Miami. By creating valuable platforms that allow creative professionals to rally, express and flourish; the Knight Foundation has seeded the community with resources that will launch this region onto the national stage. They are supporters of our venue partners; The LAB Miami, O Cinema, and The Lightbox; which are perfect examples of these valuable platforms. And just recently, they announced their sponsorship of the Miami Mini Maker Faire!

Incredible thanks goes to the Knight Foundation for helping to bring the first Miami Mini Maker Faire home. The event is certain to be a beacon which attracts creative and intellectually-stimulating ideas. The production team, advisors and volunteers all look forward to sharing these experiences with you.

Read the press release about our partnership with the Knight Foundation.

Feel the Heat: Maker Faire Coming to Miami

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We were featured on the Makezine Blog!

Originally posted on MAKE:

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Miami will hold its first Maker Faire Nov. 16. Sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the Miami Mini Maker Faire has already attracted more than 60 makers. The event is an initiative of MIAMade, an organization dedicated to supporting the local maker community,

“Miami has a lot of untapped tech talent and new entrepreneurs focused on areas like hardware, robotics and 3D printing. But to have a positive social impact they need more opportunities to showcase ideas and build relationships,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director in Miami. “The Miami Mini Maker Faire is one part of a plan to build a sense of community among these local makers and connect them with a larger global movement.”

About 1,000 people are expected to attend . The fair will include talks, presentations, panel discussions, and short film screenings at three main locations in Miami’s Wynwood district: The LAB Miami, The Lightbox…

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Call for Makers Opens for Second Round Through October 27th!

Due to growing demand from folks who wish to show their DIY projects at the Miami Mini Maker Faire, we are opening our Call for Makers for a second round, running through October 27th! If you missed the first round, please apply today to have your projects or products exhibited at Miami Mini Maker Faire by filling out our simple application.

If you scrambled to get your applications in during the first round, don’t fret. All makers who applied by September 30th will receive preferred placement at the Miami Mini Maker Faire, plus be featured on our website by mid-October!

Check out Miami Mini Maker Faire’s guest post for The Miami Herald’s Starting Gate blog!

Miami Mini Maker Faire producer, Ric Herrero, wrote a piece for The Miami Herald’s Starting Gate blog on his recent visit to World Maker Faire in NYC and why we’re bringing this exciting event to Miami! Read it at the Starting Gate blog here, or below.

At Maker Faire, art and technology merge to give us a glimpse at the future

By Ric Herrero

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The fourth annual World Maker Faire was held in Queens, NY, this past weekend. For two days, over 70,000 people showed up to meet some 700 makers whose projects ranged from quadcopter drones and 3D printed toys, to solar powered robots and sensor-based gadgets that can wire your entire home and garden to the Internet. The Faire also featured a full outdoor bazaar with artisans selling hand-made clothing, jewelry and home goods, plus circus acrobats, musicians, a life-sized version of the Mouse Trap board game, a Coke and Mentos geyser show, and lots, I mean lots, of rockets.

Think Science Fair-meets-County Fair-meets-Burning Man-meets-Renegade, and you’re only halfway there. Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration of DIY creativity, resourcefulness and invention, with the kind of “gee-whiz” energy you likely haven’t felt since you first visited Tomorrowland as a kid.

The World Maker Faire in New York is second in size only to the original Maker Faire, which was first held in San Mateo, CA and in 2013 celebrated its eighth annual show with some 900 makers and 120,000 people in attendance. Detroit, Kansas City, Newcastle (UK), Rome and Tokyo are the home of “featured” 2013 Maker Faires (200+ makers), and community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world—including right here in Miami.

Though far from mainstream, the popularity of Maker Faires has surged in recent years for several reasons, not limited to the following:

  • They’re fun interactive events that make kids (and adults) excited about crafting, circuit electronics, and soldering. “I want to make a robot and take it home!” I overheard one little girl tell her dad in a voice that made you believe they weren’t going home that day without a new friend in tow.
  • They explore cutting-edge trends in education, science, tech and design. At World Maker Faire, I saw panels discussing the re-emergence of hands-on STEM education at American schools, the rise of design labs and makerspaces, and how wearable computing, sensor-driven and big data, social networks, and location apps are ushering in a hyper-personalized future where we will be increasingly able to communicate with every physical object around us.
  • They provide a wonderful opportunity to meet local tech and design talent at the ground floor. It’s no wonder that companies like Disney, Google, Intel, Ford, Toyota and Autodesk are sponsoring Faires around the world. Over the past 8 years, several cutting edge products have debuted at the Faires, including the Arduino and Raspberry Pi microcontrollers so popular in engineering classes these days, commercial 3D printers such as the Makerbot Replicator, and countless Etsy shops.

The first Miami Mini Maker Faire (of which I’m proud to be a producer), will take place on November 16th in Wynwood and will feature both established and emerging regional makers specializing in DIY technology, arts and crafts, including hardware hacking, 3D printing, robotics, handmade goods, urban manufacturing and farming, alternative energy, apparel, artistic performances, craft food and drink, and educational workshops and installations.

Miami has a long tradition of DIY ingenuity and tinkering. Many who have arrived at our shores came with some technical or artisan skill, yet for decades found little opportunity to put their skills to professional use. Recently, as jobs have become scarcer, makers young and old have taken the entrepreneurial route and started their own businesses making things, or using technology to hack traditionally “non-tech” goods into something new, while others still practice their skills as a hobby. However, these talented individuals have yet to coalesce around a “maker movement” as many others have in major cities around the world.

The Miami Mini Maker Faire provides these makers with a unique opportunity to show what they have made and to share what they have learned with their community at large. It will to help foster a sustainable maker culture in our region, and will serve as a bellwether for how far we’ve come as a creative community, and how far we have yet to go.

I strongly encourage any makers who wish to exhibit their work or DIY projects at the Miami Mini Maker Faire to complete our online application by September 30th at www.makerfairemiami.com.

Ric Herrero is co-founder of MIAMade, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable maker culture in the Great Miami area, and producer of the Miami Mini Maker Faire.

Photo of Ric Herrero by Catalina Ayubi.