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emerge/Next Unetwork Event and Entrepreneurship Mini-Hackathon at BLUE1647

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DJ Young Guru, Victor Mateevitsi, Coodie Simmons.

Combining career advice on being a hip-hop DJ, and doing sound engineering for Kanye, with updates and demos of 3D printers, Leap Motion controllers, and a pair of glasses that give you “spider sense” captured enough audience attention to make them put their smartphones down and listen to the panelists during UNETWORK’S emerge/NEXT mini-Hackathon  event at the local “collaboratory” BLUE1647.

Sensor demo on DailyPlanet on Discovery Channel.
Sensor demo on DailyPlanet on Discovery Channel.



On June 27th, the subject was emerging technologies, but beyond tools, were panels that featured people who had “made it” who shared tips and stories about how you get started and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. 

Labeled FRESH x NEXT, DISRUPT THE PLACE and ENGINEERS x CREATIVES, the panels featured Victor MateevitsiFifty For The Future® awardee, and inventor of wearable sensors that give the user “spider sense” by nearby objects.

Victor’s suit has proximity sensors placed around the wearer’s body. They sense objects, and exert pressure on the wearer that corresponds to how far away the object is. A practical application would be for a blind person or a firefighter in heavy smoke to use a device like this to avoid harm.

Mateevitshi is a student at UIC’s EVL (Electronic Visualization Lab) where he developed the “spider sense” suit.

DJ Young Guru (Gimel Androus Keaton) and Coodie  Simmons, Filmmaker and Video Director and Co-Founder of, shared some excellent tips. Coodie Simmons said, “Attention is the scarce resource.” adding, “people are spoiled and don’t take time to develop their skills. Followers are not fans.”

DJ Young Guru, who worked with Kanye on his breakthrough “Through the Wire.” said “charity is the quickest way to make money” because there are a ” …lot of people clogging up the airwaves” and putting out work for free is the best way to get recognized. Recording artists today are making money on everything but the actual recordings.

Musicians and recording artists live shows and even merchandise, are where the revenue comes from in the digital marketplace. There is less need for middle level record executives, so though the amount of money musicians and artists take in might be down, their percentage of the take is higher than before the disruption of digital technology.

Young Guru stressed that being entrepreneurial is a key to success. “Mid level jobs will get knocked out. even doctors, you have to understand what automation will do to economy. You must step out and sell your passion.”

Explorer Story: Young Guru [through Google Glass]


Google Glass works,  DRIFT is out to make wearables like Glass, comfortable. Now the battery and lens are on the same side, so wearing Glass for a time, makes the wearer uncomfortable because it is heavier on one side than on the other.

From Lunatik's Kickstarter campaign for Tik-Tok.
From Lunatik’s Kickstarter campaign for Tik-Tok.

Drift makes custom eyeglass frames in a Chicago studio using a small team of engineers and artisans. Their niche is to meld new technology with traditional methods of optical manufacturing, pioneered by companies like Bausch & Lomb and American Optical.

Their frames are 100% biodegradable and recyclable acetate, using a manufacturing process they developed and built from the ground up.

Drift is rethinking how you could balance the power and lens on wearables like Google Glass, to make them more comfortable.

Tom Corliss of Lunatik said “Learn about accounting, study lots of disciplines. Becoming an entrepreneur takes time.” Corliss made it clear that going from an exciting, marketable idea to getting a company up and running and profitable takes years, not days or months.

Lunatik  was the first company to raise a million dollars using Kickstarter.

The TikTok+LunaTik Watch Kits for the iPod nano on Kickstarter, long before the platform was widely utilized by designers. The TikTok project raised a record-breaking $1M in 30 days. That was exciting, but lots of the hard work was still ahead to make TikTok go from a cool viral story on the internet to a viable commercial enterprise.

BLUE1847 is a hangout for hackers, people who want to learn more about computers and technology, and anyone thinking “how do you get started in business?, especially if the business is sound recording, filmmaking, or a technology start-up.

Founder Emile Cambry says that the space is for bringing diverse people together to build things together.” Let‘s build something together, and bring the spirit of collaboration to Chicago,” Cambry told the crowd. UNETWORK teamed up with SCION, Toyota On Western, and BLUE|1647 to sponsor three panels and a mini-Hackathon.



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