Photo Credit: Getty Images
The White House hosted its very first Maker Faire yesterday, highlighting President Obama's emphasis on the economy and use of innovative tools and techniques to start new businesses. The Maker Faire calls itself the greatest show and tell on Earth — a festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.
"We've got to make sure that more Americans have the skills and opportunities to land a job in a growing industry or to create entire new industries," Obama said. "That's why I'm declaring today a national day of making." Government support of new businesses and technology is certainly a good thing for women, as we know some key fields are seriously lacking female representation.
The fair included some pretty kick-ass ladies doing big things: Jane Chen, the creator of an incubator for premature babies for use in rural villages; Lisa Fetterman, who invented of the "Nomiku" kitchen appliance; Sandra Richter, who created a solar-powered bench which allows users to charge their mobile devices; and Danielle Applestone, the CEO of Other Machine Co. and maker of a lightweight machine that can carve things like circuit boards or jewelry.
The "maker" idea is expanding with the help of other female leaders in attendance. Jen McCabe, for example, founded a small urban factory in Las Vegas to serve other makers, designers, and startups. Nicole Farb runs the online "maker marketplace" Darby Smart. Brit Morin, who runs online maker site Brit + Co., said the company plans to start several new programs to encourage women and girls to tinker and invent. Her business plans to host several women as "makers in residence" at its company each year.
The White House says 13 federal agencies are teaming up with companies like Etsy and Kickstarter to help Americans access startup capital and tools to develop new products. Rock on, ladies.