The countdown has begun to the first Engadget Expand, a brand new event created for technology enthusiasts and gadget-lovers. Engadget Expand will give attendees access usually reserved for industry insiders by connecting them with consumer electronics luminaries, Engadget's editors and the hottest new gadgets exhibiting on the show floor. Today, Engadget Expand announces a final call for submissions to the Insert Coin: New Challengers inventor competition where Engadget editors will host a new product competition for independent inventors. The Engadget editors will choose a slate of semi-finalists for readers to vote on before the event, and a select number of finalists will be chosen to attend the event and show off their inventions to attendees and a panel of expert judges. Finalists must have a working prototype to demo for the first time at the show, and attendees, judges and readers will pick the winners to receive a cash prize and guaranteed review on Engadget. The competition brings Engadget’s series about noteworthy, crowd-funded hardware to life with an on stage battle for the best new inventions. All applications must be entered using the official form by 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 8, 2013. Engadget editors, readers and a panel of experts will judge submissions, which must be entirely new projects, according to innovativeness, design, functionality, overall quality and market relevance. Winners will be announced and prizes granted according to the following schedule:
- Feb. 15 – 10 semi-finalists will receive tickets to attend Expand and a $1,000 travel stipend to exhibit and compete on the show floor.
- March 1 – Five finalists, which readers select from the 10 semi-finalists, will demo their product on stage to the Expand audience.
- March 16 to March 17 –
- One grand prize winner will receive $20,000 and a product review on Engadget.
- One reader's choice winner will receive $5,000 and a product review on Engadget.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Chris Anderson – CEO, 3D Robotics and former editor-in-chief, Wired
- Veronica Belmont – co-host, Tekzilla
- Ryan Block – co-founder, gdgt
- Walter de Brouwer – CEO and founder, Scanadu
- Steve Cousins – CEO, Willow Garage
- Scott Croyle – vice president of design, HTC
- Michael Laine – president, LiftPort Group
- Gene Munster – research analyst, devices & Internet, Piper Jaffray
- Avi Reichental – president and CEO, 3D Systems
- Tom Rivellini – Mars Science Laboratory entry descent and landing lead mechanical engineer, NASA/JPL
- Yancey Strickler – co-founder and head of community, Kickstarter
- Julie Uhrman – founder and CEO, OUYA