New York City challenged makers, designers, and engineers to develop new products with commercial potential.


New York City is challenging you to create new physical products that have commercial potential, and to become one of New York’s Next Top Makers. Your new product can be in any of the following product categories: consumer products, equipment, furniture and lighting, soft goods, packaging, interaction, transportation, DIY (kits) or something else, provided it meets the eligibility requirements listed in the Official Rules.

To get started check out the requirement (for complete information see the Official Rules):

Judges will select their top 5 new products and the public will vote to determine their favorite. All six finalists will receive assistance on the path to commercialization during a five-month Studio Phase. Assistance will include studio space from sponsor NYDesigns, business support, and mentorship from industry experts such as Adafruit Industries, Honeybee Robotics and Shapeways. After the Studio phase, finalists will publically showcase their progress and their prototypes. Judges will then select one Grand Prize winner from the six finalists to receive an $11,000 cash prize.

The goal of the challenge is to support design-driven production, promote a culture of innovation and commercialization, and to foster the development of new businesses within New York City’s industrial business, design and engineering communities.

View full rules

Prizes

Grand Prize
$11,000

Awarded to the Finalist that makes the most progress during the Studio Phase and shows the greatest promise for continued business success.

Finalist Award (5)

Finalists will participate in the Studio Phase from April 2013 to August 2013. During this "business accelerator," up to three members of each finalist team or organization will receive 5 months of studio space from NYDesigns (valued at approximately $1,650), $300 in 3D printing services from Shapeways, a starter and extended kit from LittleBits (valued at over $230), as well as a $4,000 budget for prototyping materials and access to equipment. Technical support and mentorship from other industry leaders such as Adafruit Industries and Honeybee Robotics will also be provided. Total Approximate Value: $6,180 per finalist

Popular Choice Finalist

The Popular Choice Finalist will also participate in the Studio Phase from April 2013 to August 2013. During this "business accelerator," up to three members of the finalist team or organization will receive 5 months of studio space from NYDesigns (valued at approximately $1,650), $300 in 3D printing services from Shapeways, a starter and extended kit from LittleBits (valued at over $230), as well as a $4,000 budget for prototyping materials and access to equipment. Technical support and mentorship from other industry leaders such as Adafruit Industries and Honeybee Robotics will also be provided.
Total Approximate Value: $6,180

Eligibility

  • Individuals 18 years or older who reside full time in New York City (and teams of individuals)
  • Organizations with their primary place of business in New York City and <10 employees

For complete eligibility requirements see the Official Rules.

Requirements

Overview:

  • Create a design for a new physical product with commercial potential that can be produced using existing technology. You are encouraged, but not required, to create a physical prototype.
  • Your product can be in one of the following categories (defined in more detail here): consumer products, equipment, furniture and lighting, soft goods, packaging, interaction, transportation, DIY (kits) or other.

What to create for your submission:

  • A short description of your product that will be seen by the public.
  • A PDF file with your answers to the Required Submission Questions
  • A video (5 minutes or less) that describes your new product’s design, functionality and use scenarios. 
  • Images depicting your product, the design and/or a physical prototype

For complete submission requirements, please review the Enter a Submission tab, the How to Enter Section of the homepage, and the Official Rules.

Judges

Joel Towers

Joel Towers
Executive Dean, Parsons the New School for Design

Ayah Bdeir

Ayah Bdeir
Founder/ CEO, littleBits

Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli
Senior Curator, Department of Architecture & Design/Director, Department of Research & Development, Museum of Modern Art

Julie Uhrman

Julie Uhrman
Founder and CEO, OUYA

Zack Schildhorn

Zack Schildhorn
V.P. & Director of Operations, Lux Capital

Chad Phillips

Chad Phillips
Creative Director, Fab.com 

Allen Frechter

Allen Frechter
President, Plexi-Craft

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the idea
    Including originality and creativity and whether the new product design is substantially different from current market offerings.
  • Quality of the product design
    Including thoroughness of product design documentation submitted; the degree to which the product’s visual appeal and user experience are demonstrated; and the inclusion and quality of a physical prototype, if appropriate.
  • Commercial potential
    Including feasibility of production, material and production costs, scalability, and potential demand.
  • Potential impact on NYC
    Including business ecosystem fit, whether part of the production value chain could exist locally, and potential for local product adoption.
  • Potential to benefit from Studio Phase
    Including how a submitter/team plans to use the Studio Phase to move their product forward in a way that could not be achieved without assistance.
  • Quality of Team
    Including prior successes and experience of team members and capacity of the team to execute and bring a product to market.
  • Grand Prize Criteria: Progress During Studio Phase
    Including the relative progress made developing a prototype and bringing a product to market, and the team’s success in executing on their goals.
  • Grand Prize Criteria: Business Promise
    Including commercial potential of the product and the team’s potential for success after the Studio Phase.

How to enter

  1. Create an account on or log in with an existing ChallengePost account.
  2. On NextTopMakers.com click the "Accept this challenge" button to register your interest in participating. This step ensures that you will receive important challenge updates.
  3. Complete all of the required fields on the submission form, and submit your product design by including the following information:
    1. a submission name;
    2. a video (5 minutes or less) describing the product’s design, functionality and use scenarios;
    3. one or more images depicting the product, product design, or a physical prototype;
    4. a brief text description of the product’s functionality and use (for public display);
    5. an uploaded PDF file, no longer than 5 pages, which addresses the required questions listed on the “Required Submission Questions" page;
    6. the submitter type (individual, team, organization);
    7. the product category (consumer products, equipment, furniture and lighting, soft goods, packaging, interaction, transportation, DIY (kits), Other);
    8. phone number;
    9. Acknowledgement that 1-3 team members will be able to participate in the 5-month Studio Phase;
    10. Agreement to the Official Rules;
    11. And all other required fields