In its quest to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States, President Obama hosted a so-called “maker faire” at the White House on Wednesday.
The maker movement is a growing community that encourages people to design, build and create products of their own. The idea is that you don’t have to be an engineer to invent something useful, and some of the best, most entrepreneurial ideas come from people looking to solve problems in their everyday lives. It can include everything from electronics and robotics innovation to woodworking and traditional arts and crafts. The creation of new technologies like 3-D printing make product innovation easier than ever before.
The White House hosted its own maker faire on Wednesday to display some of the best DIY inventions, while maker groups in cities and universities across the nation also hosted their own events.
“The rise of the maker movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States,” the White House said on its website. “Nationwide, new tools for democratized production are boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing, in the same way that the Internet and cloud computing have lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups, creating the foundation for new products and processes that can help to revitalize American manufacturing.”
The White House proclaimed Wednesday as “National Day of Making” and encouraged people across the United States to use the Twitter hashtag #NationofMakers to share their inventions and discuss the power of do-it-yourself innovation.
Along with proclaiming the day, the White House also unveiled some new initiatives aimed at bolstering innovation. Companies that support entrepreneurs and innovators, including Etsy, Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Local Motors, all made announcements to show support of the President’s maker initiative. Kickstarter unveiled a new funding category specifically for makers called “Makerspaces: Today Kickstarter.” Etsy is expanding its Craft Entrepreneurship program, which teaches unemployed and low-income adults how to build a business selling their crafts.
The Obama administration also announced an initiative that encourages high schools and community colleges across the United States to add “makerspaces” on campus, or places where students can come together to discuss ideas and collaborate on making projects.
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Photos: Getty Images, The White House