Chair, MakeNTU 2017

The first-ever nationwide makeathon in Taiwan.

The recap video of 2017 MakeNTU.

The democratization of technology has fostered the recent maker movement around the globe. The maker movement has transformed the role of increasing non-experts within science and engineering from passive consumers of products to active participants of creation. I believe this transformation will encourage people to search for more important yet unmet needs, which may be neglected by large companies due to many reasons (e.g. the product may not bring profit for companise). Driven by this idea, I led a team of 60 members to launch the first-ever nationwide makeathon in Taiwan - MakeNTU 2017.

MakeNTU was initiated in 2016 as a small competition within my department (NTUEE). Participants were asked to come up with an idea related to a theme and implement a prototype within 24 hours. Different from typical hackathons, the prototypes in our makeathon must be tangible devices that humans can physically interact with. Consequently, participants need to make use of not only their software knowledge and creativity but also their hardware knowledge and prototyping skills during the makeathon.

Motivated by the great success and the teeming positive feedback for MakeNTU 2016, my team and I aimed to expand this event so that students all over Taiwan were able to participate. Therefore, in 2017, we held the first-ever nationwide makeathon in Taiwan. We faced countless difficulties during the preparatory process, such as the funding shortage, the workforce deficit, and the lack of precedent. However, we overcame all these difficulties together and again stroke a great success.

We cooperated with Taipei City Government and 22 international companies, including Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc. Over 800 students around Taiwan applied to participate and 200 of them were accepted (due to the space limit in the venue). The theme of MakeNTU 2017 is Smart City and many great ideas were proposed and implemented. Exemplary prototypes can be found in the video above or in the selected photos below. MakeNTU has fostered the maker movement in Taiwan and has continued to thrive.