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Avnet Helps Guide Makers’ Technology Ideas to Production at Maker Faire

Avnet to preview new initiative announced with Kickstarter and Dragon, plus showcase its communities and tools available to support makers in the technology product lifecycle

PHOENIX—May 18, 2017—Avnet (NYSE: AVT), a leading global technology distributor, today announced its activities as a presenting sponsor at Maker Faire Bay Area beginning tomorrow at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Avnet will participate in a live presentation on the Make: Live stage about the collaboration announced earlier this morning by Kickstarter PBC, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. The new initiative from Kickstarter, Dragon Innovation, a leading provider of manufacturing software and know-how, and Avnet is designed to help hardware makers design products and plan ahead for manufacturing before they launch on Kickstarter.

Avnet also will feature its online communities and labs designed to help makers and engineers develop their ideas throughout the technology product lifecycle, from idea to design and from prototype to production in its Maker Faire booth in Zone 2.

Through this new collaboration with Kickstarter, Avnet and Dragon Innovation, makers small and large will be able to launch their hardware crowdfunding campaigns with support from Kickstarter, and have access to services and benefits to help them get to “production-ready”. The companies are launching Hardware Studio, an initiative that will give makers access to expertise, tools and resources to supply, design build and deliver their ideas to market.

The Hardware Studio is comprised of two elements: the Hardware Studio Toolkit, a community site where designers can participate in tutorials and live webinars with industry experts before launching their Kickstarter projects; and Hardware Studio Connection, a more selective program that will give makers access to hands-on support from Avnet and Dragon engineers as well as discounts on components and services.

“Resources once reserved only for professional designers are now widely available to anyone with an idea. However, moving an idea into a bona fide product requires expertise, tools and a multitude of resources,” said Avnet CEO William Amelio. “Our work in collaboration with Kickstarter and Dragon Innovation is an example of Avnet’s continued commitment to help the maker community. Today, we’re bringing our extensive design chain and supply chain experience to the Hardware Studio Initiative as the experts in guiding today’s innovative ideas through the technology product lifecycle.”

Furthering Avnet’s commitment to the maker community, Avnet will showcase the following communities in its Maker Faire booth:

element14: Ben Heck, an American console modder and host of The Ben Heck Show on YouTube and the element14 Community, will join Avnet in Zone 2 to inspire makers and talk through their projects. His weekly show has recorded more than 33 million views worldwide.
Hackster.io: Attendees can explore Avnet’s Hackster.io online community, where users can learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware.
Makersource.io: Avnet’s MakerSource.io online resource directory provides individuals and startups with access to a comprehensive ecosystem of resources needed to turn a pioneering new product vision into a marketable reality. Maker Faire attendees can explore the services available through this online community.

Avnet also will host free hands-on labs to enable makers to quickly connect multiple devices wirelessly using Raspberry Pi sensors and Python, an interactive IoT application. Starter kits for demonstrated products will be available for sale to help makers explore in the comfort of their own workspace. Avnet will also feature on their stage demos by key partners, including: Dragon Innovation, Google, Intel, Mentor Graphics, micro:bit and Microsoft.

More information on the Kickstarter collaboration and an email sign-up form are at: kickstarter.com/hardwarestudio. The Hardware Studio Initiative is scheduled to launch this September.

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