You’re going home for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, and if you’ve been living here trying to make it as a designer and haven’t quite broken through yet, you get to play the joyful game of your friends and family shrugging or staring when you tell them your plans. No, it’s not easy trying to make it as a maker in Brooklyn, but a new contest created by the New York Economic Development Corporation, New York’s Next Top Makers, could turn those shrugs into high fives next year.
The EDC is looking for “makers, designers and engineers to develop new products with commercial potential,” and will help those who win bring their product to market. The challenge is open to individuals or teams of less than ten people who have a design for nearly any type of new commodity they wish to make available (sorry, sex toys and weapons are not eligible for entry, dooming my design for a cyanide infused French tickler). After you submit your design to the site, six finalists will be chosen next March to receive five months studio space, $300 in 3D printing services, a $4,000 budget, technical support and mentorship from industry leaders. At the end of the studio phase, judges will award an $11,000 grand prize to the most commercially viable product. Submissions are accepted up to February 13th, so you still have some time to come up with the next lighbulb, iPod, or Furby.