A TV show that Westlake Ace Hardware has sponsored in the past now has a sponsorship from Ace Hardware Corp. and debuted nationally this fall.
“Make48” features several teams of inventors competing against each other to create new consumer products within 48 hours. Ace’s corporately owned store chain, Westlake Ace, sponsored “Make48” for its first three seasons before the show went national on public television in September.
“For more than 93 years, Ace Hardware has been supporting the small business entrepreneur, and makers are independent entrepreneurs as well,” says Maya Schultz, innovation merchant for Ace Hardware Corp. “To us, entrepreneurs supporting fellow entrepreneurs … is a powerful combination.”
Ace is a show sponsor, along with companies such as Stanley Black & Decker, and provides gift cards for contestants to use to buy supplies at a local Ace Hardware store. On the show, contestants start with ideas and create product prototypes with the help of experts provided through the show. Three winners get to pitch their products to major retailers.
The teams are supported by tool technicians and industry mentors, including some of America’s most successful product inventors, according to a press release from “Make48.” Once the top three winners are picked, professionals create prototypes and produce marketing videos. The competition culminates in a crowdfunding campaign in which the products are put before the public.