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Fact Sheet: President Obama to Host First-Ever White House Maker Faire
A Nation of Makers: Empowering America’s Students and Entrepreneurs to Invent the Future
WASHINGTON, DC - White House Maker Faire , June 18, 2014 --

Today, President Obama will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and will meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and lead a grassroots renaissance in American manufacturing. 

As part of his year of action and this week’s focus on efforts that will expand opportunity by spurring manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, the President will also announce new steps the Administration and its partners are taking to increase the ability of more Americans, young and old, to have access to these tools and techniques and to bring their ideas to life.

Among the efforts being launched by the President at the White House Maker Faire:

  • Helping Makers launch new businesses and create jobs, with more than 13 federal agencies and companies including Etsy, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Local Motors offering Makers a suite of support services including expanded access to start-up grants, strong relationships with American manufacturers and major retailers, and business mentoring and training.
  • Dramatically expanding the number of students that have the opportunity to become Makers, with the Department of Education and five other agencies; over 150 colleges and universities; more than 130 libraries; and major companies ranging including Intel, Autodesk, Disney, Lego, 3D Systems, and MAKE committing to create more Makerspaces, enlist more educators in teaching Making, and launch other programs that allow students access to the tools and mentors that will bring their ideas to life. 
  • Challenging Makers to tackle our most pressing problems, from Maker Nurses prototyping new tools that will aid in patient care, to Makers expanding our frontiers in space, to Makers here and abroad developing low-cost technologies that can improve the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people.

America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools, with even more being created by the day. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything.

The rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States. Nationwide, new tools for democratized production are boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing, in the same way that the Internet and cloud computing have lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups, creating the foundation for new products and processes that can help to revitalize American manufacturing.

These tools, increasing access to nearby makerspaces, and events like Maker Faires across the country are inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, empowering Makers to launch manufacturing startups in the same way that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs developed and marketed the first Apple Computer while participating in the Homebrew Computer Club.  Mentors and educators are “passing it on” and inspiring boys and girls to invent, tinker, and learn vital skills in STEM education.

The first-ever White House Maker Faire comes just one day after the President visited TechShop Pittsburgh, a makerspace and fabrication studio where individuals can build and test their own products. During his visit, the President highlighted new efforts by his Administration and by more than 90 mayors to spur manufacturing innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more about their efforts here and here.

Details on the First-Ever White House Maker Faire

The first-ever White House Maker Faire will feature over 100 Makers from more than 25 states, and include more than 30 exhibits. The President will view a subset of these exhibits, representing the incredible range of creativity and ingenuity unlocked by the Maker movement. Following his tour of the White House Maker Faire, the President will deliver remarks to an audience of entrepreneurs, students, business leaders, mayors, and heads of non-profit organizations. A more detailed backgrounder on the notable attendees, exhibitors and other honored Makers at the event is available here.  

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

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