While there will be zooming drones, live glass-blowing and autonomous robots at the Mini Maker Faire — a gathering of 100 local makers — that’s not what inventor Marvin Weinberger is most excited about.
“I hope that sparks will fly and that relationships will be formed,” said Weinberger, co-chair of the event alongside Graphene Frontiers’ Bruce Willner. “We’ve invited contract manufacturers and investors, hoping that they realize their future lies with aligning themselves with some of these innovators.”
The broader point of the event, happening June 24 at the Pennovation Center as an independently organized, licensed iteration of the Calif.-based Maker Faire, is to spur connections among makers and highlight local initiatives from inventors, companies and independent crafters.
“We hope to turn Philly into a maker city as Maker Movement founder Dale Dougherty challenged us to during a recent visit,” Weinberger said. “The Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire is another step towards Philadelphia becoming a true Maker City, and to reigniting the city’s past as a manufacturing hub and resource for innovators, from Ben Franklin to now.”
Beyond all the entertainment, Weinberger is hoping the event gets kids inspired to try their hand at crafting physical products or at least engage in physical hobbies.
There was at least one attempt to get the Maker Faire to come through Philadelphia, as former Hacktory director Georgia Guthrie mentioned in a guest post last year:
Dale came and found me specifically, and asked how to get Maker Faire to come to Philadelphia. He said he’s reached out to people at institutions he thought would be willing partners here, but hasn’t gotten anywhere. In his mind, Benjamin Franklin is a clear patron saint of making, and he pointed out that lots of smaller cities have hosted Maker Faires. I pledged to do what I can, but being a volunteer without many resources, I can’t offer more toward this goal than what I’m already giving.