One of the things our community doesn’t usually get a chance to see is how members of The Grommet team guide, instruct, and mentor the Makers we work with as they bring their products to market. In 2017, our Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer Joanne Domeniconi and our Director of Discovery Ryan DeChance were invited to be a part of a new public television series, Make48, — which gives a sneak peek into how we work with inventors and entrepreneurs.
Produced by KTWU in Kansas and distributed by American Public Television, Make48 immerses its audience in the product invention process from ideation to product creation. Taking place over 48 hours, 12 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs and product inventors compete against each other, by brainstorming, building a prototype, and pitching it to a team of expert industry judges.
Each season has a new theme (season two is all about products used for outdoor entertainment) and at the end of the competition, the top three teams are supported by national marketing and design firms, hoping to fine-tune the product and help make it a success.
While the teams were hard at work, Joanne and Ryan provided expert insights and suggestions on how to improve the design and gave advice on how to create a product that really could become a problem solver, just like the ones we look for here at The Grommet.
At The Grommet, we consider 300 products every week, but only 3% of these become a “Grommet.” We have been consistently raising the bar over time for what it takes to be included, and thanks to years of experience in evaluating ideas and prototypes, our Discovery Team members were able to provide valuable insight during the Maker48 competition.
Season two started airing this month and continues now on local PBS stations (check your local listings!), or you can also stream episodes online — and see who wins!