Next Top Makers is a NY competition offering prize money to whoever designs a new product with “commercial potential” and a business plan. Under the challenge offered by the NY Economic Development Corp., makers submit projects and judges select the top five—plus a sixth “people’s choice.” According to Wired, winners will proceed to a second phase to refine and build prototypes. After five months, finalists will present products in a showcase. The winner receives $11,000 in prizes.
The NY Economic Development Corporation set up the challenge to encourage the fledgling 3D printing industry including MakerBot and Shapeways. Brandon Kessler, CEO and founder of ChallengePost, the online platform hosting the competition, told Wired that this highlights the entire maker community, where there’s already a lot of grassroots activity. “The maker community, the design and prototyping community, they’re realizing, the city understands that the manufacturing sector is undergoing a transformation and that there’s a lot of excitement around design, prototyping, 3-D printing and that sort of thing,” he says.