FirstBuild™ Unveils the Future of Cooking with Its 2016 Mega Hackathon Winners

  • More than 200 participants brought to life 14 of the
    next-generation cooking devices
  • $15,000 in cash and other prizes were awarded by FirstBuild and

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FirstBuild™, a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a
Haier company, announced the winners of its Mega Hackathon: The Future
of Cooking challenge. Teams of more than 200 designers, engineers,
makers, students and foodies converged at FirstBuild’s microfactory in
Louisville to design, build, code and hack the next generation of
cooking devices. More than $15,000 in cash and other prizes were awarded.

Ideas ranged from a combination wall oven and induction cooktop to a
range with built-in smoking drawer. Designs were judged by
representatives from FirstBuild and the Mega Hackathon’s more than 15
sponsors including Renesas and 3M.

With access to advanced manufacturing tools such as 3D printers, laser
cutters, water jets, CNC mills, Bridgeport mills, welding, hand power
tools and soldering stations, the teams worked to conceive and create
devices they would want in their own homes to make their lives easier.
After reviewing the latest innovations and eating some delicious food,
the teams’ ingenuity was evident in their creations.

FirstBuild is an online community of engineers, designers, makers and
home enthusiasts dedicated to conceiving, co-creating and building the
next generation of major home appliances. Participants identify market
needs, directly participate in the product development and watch via
social media as ideas speed from mind to market.

Each of the headlining sponsors, FirstBuild, Renesas and 3M, selected
winners from a pool of 14 designs. The top team for each category

  • Team Marco won FirstBuild’s award for Best Overall Design as
    well as 3M’s award for Best Use of a 3M Product with their
    cooktop for visually impaired users. Team members included Josh
    Montgomery, Mike Miller, Mariah Zambuto, Steve Penrod, Rachel Turnwald
    and Aura Escobar.
  • Team Smart Range Hood won Renesas’ award for Best Use of Renesas
    with a ventilation hood that controls fan speed based
    on cooking temperature and controls the lights based on the user’s
    activity. Team members included Luis Angel Cabral Guzman, Dale Pepoon
    and Jose Efren Rodriguez Munoz.

“We opened our doors to the public to showcase FirstBuild’s
state-of-the-art model of manufacturing that embraces the maker movement
and closes the gap from mind to market,” said Larry Portaro, director of
FirstBuild. “The prototypes generated by these teams were outstanding,
and illustrate how ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. We wanted
the community to envision what they saw for the future of cooking, and
in a single weekend they created outstanding products.”

About FirstBuild

FirstBuild is a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a
Haier company that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to
change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and
manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University
of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from
mind to market and enables customization through small batch production,
without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more
information about how to get involved, visit


Kim Freeman, 502-452-7819