Home IoT inventors star in TBS’ America’s Greatest Makers

IoT inventors star in TBS’ America’s Greatest Makers

Mark Burnett, Emmy winner and producer of reality TV juggernauts like Shark Tank and Survivor, has teamed up with tech giant Intel and the TBS cable network to launch America’s Greatest Makers – a new reality competition series featuring IoT inventors going head-to-head.

Judging roster includes Emmy-nominated actress Mayim Bialik – holder of a PhD in neuroscience and co-star of the hit series The Big Bang Theory – sports legends Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, and Massimo Banzi, maker and co-founder and CEO of Arduino, which makes popular development boards for inventors to create.

The show premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on TBS.

makers 1
Team Grush gets ready for their primetime debut

IoT inventors taking the making into the mainstream

In this first-of-its-kind competition show, America’s Greatest Makers takes 24 teams of wearables and smart device makers from across the country and puts them in head-to-head competition to invent game-changing technology for a chance to go home with $1 million.

It’s an especially big day for us here at ReadWrite, since two of the teams in the competition – Grush and Zackees— are alumni of the very first accelerator class – in winter 2014 – run by our parent company, Wearable IoT World. So we’ve had a front-row seat to their efforts.

“The fact that America’s Greatest Makers is premiering in primetime shows the real impact of this maker movement,” says Kyle Ellicott, co-founder and chief labs officer at Wearable IoT World. “It’s not just on the hobbyist level anymore; it’s on a global level.”

And he adds that not only does a show like this making it to TV prove that big IoT players like Intel see a booming potential, “people at home, across the country, are wanting to see more.”

Zackees makes turn-signal gloves for cyclists and has other wearables planned. Grush makes tooth-brushing fun for kids with an interactive toothbrush.

“We’re beyond proud for Grush and Zackees for making it onto the show,” he said. “We’re excited to see to how they progress,  having watched both teams grow dramatically over the past two years. They deserve to be on center stage.”

How the competition will work

In the first two episodes, each of the teams must speed-pitch their product to the judging panel consisting of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; business and financial expert Carol Roth; comedian, serial entrepreneur and co-host of truTV’s Hack My Life Kevin Pereira; and one of the celebrity guests.

Once the speed pitches are done, 15 teams will move forward in the competition. Then, over the next five weeks, those teams go head-to-head in groups of three, hoping to secure a spot in the finals and $100,000 in cash in this round.

Once the five finalists are picked, their finished products will endure one last round of competition and judging, with the winner taking home $1 million and the title of “America’s Greatest Makers.”

“We have an extremely diverse cast – from 15 years old to 59 – with ideas that are as unique as the teams themselves,” said executive producer Mark Burnett. “We are looking to come up with the next big thing in wearable tech and smart connected devices, and these competitors will have to convince our judges that their product is just that.”

More importantly, he adds, “the competition will inspire a whole new audience of potential makers.”

Good luck, Team Grush and Team Zackees!

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