With the realization that a traditional 40-hour work week can quash creativity -- and that inventors aren't always the best businesspeople -- two Carnegie Mellon seniors have created Fabricate.IO Invention Studio
. It's part start-up (though just now being incorporated), part business incubator, part co-working space, part hackathon and all imagination.
With what co-founder Todd Medema calls "a bunch of wildly different products" in various stages of development and commercialization, Fabricate "finds these individual inventors, brings them on board and mashes together all these different skill sets."
The promising products include:
* The World View Clock
, says Medema, is "an artistic yet functional item" that shows photographs of locations (Grand Teton National Park, Austin Texas and Pittsburgh to date) that match current time, then change slowly to mark time's passage. Fabricate sells a clock for $299 and has developed an app for Android (1,000 downloaded) and now for Apple.
, a b-to-b service launched this week, crowdsources market research. Starting at $25 for a single test, users can upload marketing pitches and materials for polling and results from Litmus.
* Runner Lighting is motion-activated floor lighting invented by Medema's roommate and co-founder Scott Martin. The pair plans a Kickstarter campaign to fund production.
* Sendery, built during a hackathon event, is a free, seamless, ultra-fast file-sharing service.
* Bagpipe is a guide to building your own, well, bagpipes. If it looks like PVC pipe and duct tape, that's what it is. Martin is a bagpiper and real bagpipes can cost thousands. Fabricate posted free DIY instructions.
* Minecraft Lamp is another DIY project with free instructions.
Medema says he and Martin plan to stay and grow Fabricate in Pittsburgh. "We have strong roots at Carnegie Mellon," he says. "Pittsburgh is a great place to find new talent and promote new products."
Source: Todd Medema, Fabricate.IO
Writer: Elise Vider