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Board member makes a splash in Korea on social entrepreneurship

Karen Kaun, Founder/President of Makeosity and a Catalyst Lab board member gave a keynote at AutodeAAEAAQAAAAAAAAbRAAAAJDc3ZDA5MzMwLTQ4MWMtNDFjYi1hMDkwLWMyM2RjYWYxMTJkMwsk University Korea on the topic of youth ‘making their futures today’ with high tech tools and software.

Makeosity, Inc. is a creative product incubator for young entrepreneurs who learn to use cutting-edge software, tools and techniques to rapidly prototype, test and market their inventions. Dr. Kaun founded and incorporated Makeosity following the development of a successful school-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program in New York City schools.

Two of her young student makers are in the news for using Autodesk Fusion 360 software to design and market a scooter of the future.To learn how to use the software and design the circuitry of their energy generation device, Autodesk assigned an employee, who is an electrical engineer, to work with the students over Skype once a week. While the students were learning how to use the CAD software, they mentioned that the process was helping them to get a better grasp on advanced algebra.

This summer, they hired five teenagers to develop a proof of concept of a game for the global learning XPRIZE competition. A quick demo of the proof of concept is posted here. The teenagers formed their own company JAVA – K (each letter for a first letter in their names), negotiated a contract  and delineated deliverables in a four-week timetable. The proof of concept that the teens developed has three levels and six tools to make with Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software. To win the game, the player builds the tools with the help of tutorials embedded in the game. Each tool becomes more difficult to make with less direct support by the tutorials. The final test is to build the energy scooter to escape the abandoned factory and win the game.

Within the weeks, the students went from novice to expert using Autodesk Maya (a 3D modeling and animation software), Autodesk Fusion 360 (the CAD software) and building the game on the Unity platform with JavaScript. Takeaways from the blog are passion and fun fuel learning and success and a demonstrable level of professionalism that mirrored what you’d find in corporate America and elsewhere across the globe. Also, the blog demonstrates that there is no lack of talent and diversity in tech, just a lag in corporations recognizing and embracing the rising face of the new techpreneur.

Makeosity’s much acclaimed energy scooter prototype from Autodesk University 2014 (Las Vegas) made it to Korea for one last showing before it retires. Their patent is pending and their newly designed prototype is on its way to the next leg of its journey …..stay tuned.