LANSING, MI – Most people do not think of themselves as a “maker” – but in fact, many of us are. Some of our local makers include fashion designers, welders, restaurant chefs, 3D printers, engineers and you! Residents can explore their inner-maker by taking part in a full week of hands-on activities at the upcoming Lansing Maker Week to be held Oct. 6 through 12.
The “maker movement” is both pro-technology and pro-DIY, and fits well in Lansing’s unique culture at the intersection of higher education and manufacturing, with a nod to its rich history of both arts and entrepreneurship. A team of more than a dozen community partners are excited to kick off Michigan’s first-ever Maker Week, and the Midwest’s first Startup Weekend: Maker Edition.
“This weeklong event is all about finding your inner maker, that passion to find or do something new and different. It emphasizes learning-through-doing in a social, informal environment,” said Jeff Smith, Director of New Economy Division at Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). “It’s a chance for people to find new hobbies and business ideas. Some may become the next job creators for our state.”
The first five days of Lansing Maker Week are stacked with a lineup of tours, hands-on projects and guest speakers in areas that include food and drink, textiles and apparel, 3D printing, electronics and programming, and the intersection of 21st century jobs and maker skills. Local business incubators, museums, schools and maker spaces are open to the public and will host interactive activities, workshops, lectures and projects.
Highlights of the week include: The Hive Open House from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at MSU’s Wilson Hall and the ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio from noon to 6 p.m. at the East Lansing Marriott also on Tuesday, Oct. 7. From 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Incu-Bake will feature a kitchen tour, answer questions about starting small food businesses and offer samples of locally-made products.
Must-see keynote speakers include Matt Jason, CEO of Sleepwalker Spirits & Ale, who will discuss creating a microbrewery on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at Allen Market Place in Lansing; and Joe Carr, who will speak about 3D printing on Friday, Oct. 10 at Lansing Community College West.
“We’ll have activities for families, college students and children of all ages. This week will help give Lansing DIYers, foodies, neighbors and inventors access to the action and opportunity here in their own backyard,” explained Smith.
Lansing Maker Week culminates at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 with Startup Weekend: Maker Edition. This is the 5th Startup Weekend: Maker Edition in the U.S., and the first in Michigan and the Midwest—four others have been held in Houston, Seattle, Raleigh and Atlanta.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals and communities. Teams of participants come to share ideas and launch a series of startups - all in 54 hours. It’s an exciting, productive event with a track record of fostering successful, jobcreating startup companies across the nation. For more information, visit www.lansing.startupweekend.org.
All Lansing Maker Week events are free and open to the public. Startup Weekend, which begins on Friday and lasts through the weekend has a registration fee. For a complete schedule of the weeklong events and more details, visit www.lansingmaker.com
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