The fourth annual Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire will make its return Saturday, Oct. 20 at the downtown Chattanooga Public Library. Applications are now open for makers and members of the public to submit their exhibit ideas through Sept. 20.

Part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come together to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. Interactive exhibits at the Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire have in recent years included pottery making, robot battles, screen printing stations and more. Commercial exhibitors have included artists and artisans selling jewelry, specially-bound books and other products. Click here to apply as an exhibitor.

This year will mark the fourth Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire event, with more than 2,000 attendees in 2017 and over 80 makers represented. The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and the Chattanooga Public Library are partnering to serve as the lead organizers for this year’s event.

“We are incredibly excited to help bring the Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire to our region, as we hold the maker mentality as part of our core values at CO.LAB,” said Marcus Shaw, CEO of CO.LAB. “The creative spirit of the maker is foundational to entrepreneurship.”

The decision to relocate the Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire to the library places the event at the heart of maker resources in the region, explained Shaw.

“The library is beyond thrilled to be co-hosting this year’s Maker Faire at the downtown location,” said Meredith Levine, head of youth services at Chattanooga’s downtown public library. “Maker Faire will take over our entire building and outdoor lawn, remaining abuzz with activity all day and bringing more people to Maker Faire than ever before. Showing off your work or your organization’s work at Maker Faire is an extraordinary opportunity to engage with the community, and what better place to engage than the library?”

Applicants can submit proposals for a booth or exhibitor presence, an interactive workshop or a demonstration of their work. Participants will have the option to showcase a product and share knowledge, create a hands-on activity that inspires others to embrace maker values, showcase a craft or performance, sell locally-made goods, launch a crowdfunding campaign and create maker-focused networking opportunities.

A limited number of Maker Grants totaling up to $1,000 each will be awarded to applicants who have ideas for making their exhibits more interactive, more engaging for attendees and offer a higher quality experience overall. Prospective grantees must first receive approval to exhibit at the Maker Faire in order to qualify. All approved exhibitors will receive Maker Grant applications via email after their exhibitor applications are approved. In order to be eligible for Maker Grants, approved Maker Faire exhibitors must submit itemized budgets for improving their exhibits.

To learn more about featured makers at Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire 2017, click here.

About The Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire

The Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire originally launched in October 2014, closing out the first Startup Week Chattanooga. Chattanooga’s maker community has grown significantly just as the entrepreneurial community has grown over the past decade. Maker Faire originated in 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area as a project of the editors of Make: magazine. It has since grown into a significant worldwide network of both flagship and independently produced events. Additional information available at chattanooga.makerfaire.com.

About Maker Faire by Maker Media

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2012 celebrated its seventh annual show with some 800 makers and 110,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in three years to 500+ makers and 55,000 attendees. Detroit, Kansas City, Newcastle (UK), and Tokyo are the home of “featured” Maker Faires (200+ makers), and community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow the Maker community. Visit makerfaire.com to learn more.

About The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. Established as the region’s front door for entrepreneurs, CO.LAB works to increase the capability viability of startups and strengthen the ecosystem of support behind them. In doing so, the organization helps entrepreneurs refine their business models, test their ideas with customers, pursue capital and partnerships, and connect with a community of mentors, peers, and business experts. To learn more, visit colab.co.

About Chattanooga Public Library

The mission of the Chattanooga Public Library is to be the community’s catalyst for lifelong learning. For more information, visit chattlibrary.org.

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