MAKERS flexed their creative muscles at a maker carnival held in the Sino-Finnish Design Park in Futian District on Friday and Saturday.
Organized by Intel China and the Shenzhen Industrial Design Association, the event aimed at promoting exchanges among makers, investors and enterprises in the innovative industry through a roadshow and summit.
The roadshow was held Friday afternoon at the Sino-Finnish Design Park, with nine key projects from Chinese makers. The products included a smart LED light, a service robot and health-care products. The roadshow was an extension of a presentation Thursday of more than 30 projects initiated by the Intel China Mass Makerspace Accelerator.
A makerspace summit was held simultaneously with the roadshow with four speakers sharing their experience in the field of innovative industry.
Dexon Li from the Intel China Mass Makerspace Accelerator introduced the program his company has been doing to match startups with investors. The Intel accelerator has opened 12 makerspaces and built partnerships with dozens of prestigious universities in China since its inception in April 2015.
David Li, director of the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab, said the combination of makers and crowdfunding is creating huge potential. He said that China’s Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow to 25 billion yuan (US$3.83 billion) in the upcoming five years from about 5 billion yuan in 2015.
Nick Ramil, from U.S.-based company Brinc, a company that supports IoT startups, talked about how his company helps startups turn potential product ideas into a marketable business.
Speaker Benjamin Joffe, general partner of hardware accelerator Hax, noted a different maker climate in China from that in the U.S.
Joffe, who has been in China for seven years, said that makers in China are usually people who try to make products to make money while in the U.S., it’s mostly people who build products as a hobby.
He said the maker culture in China will grow during the next generation with today’s children learning to build things creatively.
Joffe said there are many innovative products in China, but a lack of good business skills.
“A lot of research is done in Chinese universities, and at companies that would create very innovative products. But the problem is people who do this don’t have enough business knowledge or investment support,” he said, adding that nowadays makers have better access to venture investment in China.
“I think what’s needed is giving more visibility to science and research projects, to show there is really interesting technology in China,” he said.