Make48 College Challenge 2018

Make48 logo | Everyone's got a big idea.

The University of Nevada, Reno has been selected as one of 12 universities/colleges to assemble a team of makers to compete nationally in the 2018 Make48 College Challenge! Student teams will have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch a new product idea to meet a market challenge in this televised competition that airs on public television stations across the country.

This is an incredible opportunity for our team to:

  • Train as a maker!
  • Travel for free!
  • Compete nationally!
  • Invent something!
  • Be a TV star (you know you want to)!

Here’s the deal

  • Applications must be submitted by April 2, 2018.
  • Team size is 2-4 students.
  • Applications are a 1-2 min informal video of who your team is and why you want to compete.
  • We'll interview teams April 3-14 and the team will be selected April 15.
  • We’ll pay for your registration and travel (Make48 provides food at the event).
  • You’ll train with your team at the Innevation Center Makerspace for a few weeks prior to the event…and we’ll pay you hourly during this time. (You’ll need to be available for approximately 35 hours per week July 6-27.)
  • The competition is in Towson, Maryland (near Baltimore), Aug. 10-12, 2018. You’ll fly over on Thursday, Aug. 9 and fly back on Monday, Aug. 13.
  • Afterward you can watch the documentary-style, public-television series where you’re a star.
  • Winners can potentially take their product to market.

This is a great opportunity for you, and also for the University of Nevada, Reno to show-off our talented students and our love for innovation and ideation.

About the application

You’ll apply through the Make48 website. You’ll submit a single application for your team of 2-4 makers, or you can apply as an individual. If you need help with the application please contact us! (Contact info is below.) We want you to be successful. A 1-2 minute video describing who you are and why you’d like to compete is required. If you want some coaching on how to present yourself, or if you just need someone to hold the phone to shoot your video, we’re here to help.

Two students working with a 3D printer in the Makerspace

Some things you might be wondering:

  • The University of Nevada, Reno is selecting the team ourselves (not Make48), but you apply through the Make48 website.
  • We encourage you to apply as a team (this is preferred and we will interview you as a team), but our final team will be selected from all of the applicants, so you’re not guaranteed to compete with the team on your application.

For help with your application or for any questions, contact Crystal Harvey, makerspace manager of the Innevation Center at (775) 682-8649 or

We’ll contact applicants upon our receipt of the application and then follow-up after the submission deadline on April 2. Finalists will be called for an interview and the team will be chosen after the interviews.

Complete the Make48 College vs. College application

Make sure you use the college-vs-college application. (There's another general application on their website—don't use that one!)

About the pre-competition training

We want our team to have time to work together and build experience in a makerspace before the competition. If selected, plan on training at the Innevation Center Makerspace for approximately 35 hours per week July 6-27.

The 35 hours per week will be flexible and dependent on the schedule of the team. It will consist of three mock-runs of the Make48 event where you have two days to design, prototype, and pitch a new product idea. The remainder of the time will be spent learning about design, engineering, and prototyping from the Innevation Center’s Director Jim Sacherman, the Makerspace Manager Crystal Harvey, and professionals from the Innevation Center community.

We’ll pay $11/hour for your time, plus you’ll gain skills in:

Two students working with a 3D printer in the Makerspace

  • Teamwork
  • Fast-paced innovation and design
  • 3D modeling
  • Prototyping design
  • Machine shop work
  • 3D printing
  • Aesthetic design

About the competition

Teams will design a product based on a category, such as “kitchen/housewares.” Make48 will announce the theme during the kickoff event on Aug. 10.

Make48 has the rights to all prototypes and marketing materials created during the competition. If you want to keep anything, it must be approved by Make48 and the challenge sponsors.

The prize is the opportunity to be offered a “right of first refusal” for licensing consideration by the title-challenge sponsor(s).

Get more info

If there’s anything we’ve missed below in the Event or Team information, check out the Make48 FAQs.

To chat with someone about the event, visit or call the Innevation Center or the DeLamare library. Anyone on staff should be able to answer basic questions. For more detailed questions, contact Crystal Harvey at the Innevation Center or Tara Redniecki at the DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library (contact info below).

Crystal Harvey, makerspace manager
Innevation Center, 450 Sinclair St.
office: (775) 682-8649
mobile: (775) 224-3939

Tara Radniecki, engineering librarian
DeLamare Science & Engineering Library
office: (775) 682-7374


Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace, Towson, Maryland

Competition dates & times

8 a.m., Friday, August 10 through 8 p.m., Sunday, August 12, 2018 (arrive Aug 9, depart Aug 13)


Sheraton Baltimore North

  • Group rate: $119/night
  • Address: 903 Dulaney Valley Road. Towson, MD 21204
  • Phone: (410) 321-7400
  • We’ll book the hotel through the University


Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI)

Make48 National Production Team

  • Tom Gray, CEO
  • Courtney Benisch, Director of Events
  • Rich Brull, Co-Founder/Lead Tool Tech
  • Bob Coulston, Co-Creator/Tool Tech
  • Curt McMillan, Co-Founder/Host

Tool Techs

Make48 brings experts in various industries to assist in any step of product creation, including the following and more:

  • Woodworking
  • 3D printing
  • Laser Cutting
  • CNC Machines
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Website Building
  • Marketing/Graphic Design
  • video creation
  • Safety Manager

Outside resources

  • Mentors (experts in successful brands across the globe to assist teams with any questions they may have about product creation)
  • Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace Tool Techs

Competition concept

Teams will create a brand new product in the 48-hour competition and then pitch it to a panel of judges. Teams will have to create a prototype within a top secret category that will not be given until the kickoff event.

Event timeline

Thursday, August 9, 2018

  • Teams arrive

Friday, August 10

  • Team Registration
  • Competition starts with Kickoff Event

Saturday, August 11

  • Supply Run to Ace Hardware
  • Focus Groups

Sunday, August 12

  • Competition ends

Selection process

  1. Applications due by April 2, 2018
  2. Members for one team will be selected by the University by mid-April
    1. Selected team must consist of 2-4 team members
    2. Team captain must be over the age of 18
    3. Team members must be undergraduate students
    4. Seniors graduating in May are eligible to participate
  3. Registration is complete once:
    1. Each team member has paid the registration fee on Eventbrite (this will be covered by the University)
    2. Each team member signs the Rules & Regulations document
  4. Teams will be sent a full event timeline and any updates before the competition starts

Arrival/departure date

  • Teams must arrive on Thursday, August 9 as the competition starts early the following day
  • The competition ends late Sunday August 12 so teams are recommended to leave Monday, August 13

Teams receive

  • Each team member will receive two competition t-shirts that MUST be worn throughout the entire competition, pitches included
  • Meals
    • Friday August, 10: Lunch and dinner
    • Saturday August 11: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Sunday August 12: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Supplies that may be needed to create product
    • There will be a supply run at a local Ace Hardware on Saturday, August 11 and each team will be given a $200 gift card to buy supplies
  • Any machines or tools they may need to create product/marketing materials from:
    • Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace Tools
    • Make48 "Proto-to-Go" Trailers
    • Tool Techs assistance to use said tools and machines
    • Teams CANNOT bring any tools

Teams are responsible for:

  • Bringing their own laptop
  • If teams prefer to use own design software, please let the Make48 team know what software is planned to be used. Otherwise, 3D printing software Tool Techs are available for teams to utilize.