Meet the Judges
The Cool Idea! Award judging panel is made up of industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, and even previous Cool Idea! Award winners. At the end of each application period, the judges review applications in search of the most promising and life-bettering ideas.
Chris Boyle / Soloshot Inc.
Chris Boyle is a biomedical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur from Queens, NY, USA. Chris’s SOLOSHOT object tracking system was a 2012 recipient of the Cool Idea! Award, which provided him with gratis injection moulded parts to get the product off the ground. Since then, Chris has assembled a multi-dimensional, global team that continually strives to push the technological, operational and physical limits in order to bring a simple vision to life: make great video easy. Additionally, Chris has been issued 42 U.S. patents and has started or funded companies ranging from medical devices, apparel, e-commerce, training and consumer electronics. At just twenty-two, he founded his first company, which developed medical devices and next-generation materials, and culminated in a license agreement with a Fortune 50 medical device company.
Taylor Stein / Autodesk
Taylor Stein is a Mechanical Engineer and Autodesk Technology Evangelist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA. Utilising the latest in manufacturing technology—such as Autodesk’s generative design software and additive manufacturing—Taylor aims to inspire and empower the next generation of engineers and makers to solve real-world problems.
Larry Lukis / Protolabs
Larry Lukis is the founder of Protolabs. Larry previously co-founded a successful $100 million company that wanted to design a better printer, and was floored by the time and money it took to get injection-moulded parts. He began writing software that would automate the process of producing injection-moulded parts in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost it had taken before. In 1999, Larry founded what is now Protolabs, and since that time, the company has pushed the technology envelope to produce bigger and more complex parts, introduced its CNC machining service, and opened up manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia. In 2012, Protolabs became a public company and was one of the most successful initial public offerings that year.
Andy MacInnis / Massachsetts Institute of Technology
Andy MacInnis is Technical Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. As part of the Integrated Design & Management (IDM) track, he helps enable the learning and development of extraordinary, innovative leaders who will bring new levels of creativity, vision and integrity to business and society. Andy’s life has been full of creative pursuits—from constructing his first train sets, plastic models, bicycles, and tree forts through to garage boat building and art classes. The Rhode Island School of Design set fire to the designer in him and gave a purpose to his burgeoning skills. A desire to be challenged prompted him to found Monster Prototype, which over a period of 10 years grew into the go-to model and prototype firm in the Boston area. Clients included designers and manufacturers in the consumer product, medical, footwear, and sports industries. His product development work led to his involvement in soldier-worn protective equipment, resulting in the introduction of several groundbreaking products for industry leaders. All of this experience is now making its way to MIT’s IDM students by way of hands-on, workshops, where dirty hands are expected.
Amanda Williams / Jabil
Amanda Williams spearheads intelligent packaging programs at Jabil, bringing to life exciting new concepts across key customer segments. Prior to joining Jabil, she founded several startups in the consumer electronics and manufacturing logistics spaces and has worked for Xerox PARC, Adobe, Intel Research and Microsoft Research. Amanda holds a PhD in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine and a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford.
John Vaskis / Indiegogo
John Vaskis is Senior Director of Hardware, Technology and Design Outreach and Partnerships at Indiegogo, a website that allows people from all over the world to join forces and fund ideas to make them happen. John has worked with campaigns in all verticals that have raised over $25 million including record breaking campaigns Indivisible, Lazer Team, Stone Brewery and Microdrone 3.0.