The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has received increased, multi-year support from The Lemelson Foundation for its annual ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), the premier international accelerator of hardware-led social innovation.
The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading philanthropy focused solely on improving lives through invention, has been the Impact Inventing Sponsor of the annual ASME ISHOW since its inception in 2015. The Lemelson Foundation has increased its support of this signature ASME initiative and committed to a three-year strategic investment in the program. The grant provides for $120,000 per year—an increase of more than 20% over previous support.
“The whole idea behind ISHOW is to nurture hardware innovations that measurably improve quality of life,” said ASME executive director/CEO Tom Costabile. “We are profoundly grateful to The Lemelson Foundation for recognizing the impact of this ASME program and sustaining an initiative that directly addresses our mission to advance engineering for the benefit of humanity.”
Founded in 1992 by Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson, The Lemelson Foundation celebrates and cultivates inventors and inventions that improve lives. ISHOW, with its focus on helping social entrepreneurs accelerate the development of new products from the prototype stage to the global marketplace, aligns well with The Lemelson Foundation’s mission to support the next generation of impact inventors and strengthen the invention entrepreneurship ecosystem in both the U.S. and emerging markets.
“Physical products are critical to addressing our most pressing global challenges,” says The Lemelson Foundation’s senior director of strategy Rob Schneider. “But the needs of hardware entrepreneurs are often neglected in efforts to support regional startup communities. ASME is a compelling partner because their membership includes engineers and designers all over the world. ISHOW has the potential to increase the visibility and impact potential for hardware enterprises by connecting them with this network of technical talent and expertise.”
Funded through the ASME Foundation, ASME ISHOW is open to individual and organizations taking physical products to market that will have a positive social and environmental impact. Applicants should have an existing prototype and an interest in receiving financing, technical support, and access to industry networks to assist in taking their product to market.
Regional finalists are selected from the global ASME ISHOW applicant pool to participate in one of three annual events: ISHOW India, ISHOW Kenya, and ISHOW USA. Finalists receive product exposure, advice, technical insights through ISHOW’s rigorous review methodology, and compete for a share of $500, 000 in seed grants, in-kind support, design services, travel stipends, and marketing and business development assets.
ASME ISHOW’s panel of judges includes successful entrepreneurs, academics, engineers, designers, investors, and industry representatives from leading organizations. Nine innovators (three winners from each of the three regional finalist events) are invited to the annual ISHOW Bootcamp to receive an extensive and customized design and engineering review by a panel of experts and a chance to earn a second round of seed grants and consultations. They are invited to showcase their innovations in the Impact.Engineered Tech Gallery. Winners become part of the ISHOW alumni network, an international community of hardware innovators and stakeholders with exclusive access to experts and resources.