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FOSS Talk: RIT Alumnus David Brenner

Building an Open Source Hardware Business – Give away the bits, sell the things

RIT Alumnus David Brenner will be covering a brief overview of open source hardware (history, why it is important, patents vs. open source, right to repair laws,etc) followed by an in-depth discussion of building Thimble.io: a business built on developing and selling open source hardware products. David will candidly share stories about founding the business. Highlights will include a discussion of designing the initial products, customer discovery/validation, running the most-

funded Kickstarter campaign in upstate NY, finding a manufacturer, delivering product, winning the 2016 SXSW Pitch Accelerator Innovative World, interviewing with startup accelerators, completing the Telluride Venture Accelerator Program, interacting with venture capitalists, and securing funding once the business model has been proven. The talk will conclude with a discussion on the future of open source hardware and a Q&A session.


David Brenner is an engineer, maker, and entrepreneur. He co-founded and serves as Chief Technology Officer of Thimble.io, an open-source electronic kit subscription service and education company. He graduated from RIT with a degree in computer engineering, where he also attended graduate school. He has worked for AMD doing pre-silicon verification of the floating point unit of a low-power x86 processor, at Sun Microsystems as a technology evangelist promoting their open source software, at Intel on the platform architecture team evaluating system-on-chip tools to enable Intel Atom-powered cellphones and tablets, and at IBM on the system ASICs verification team for System Z mainframes.

Registration for the event is free but registering lets us know how much pizza to order.

Who: Open to the public (not just RIT Students) just be sure to RSVP.   Event RSVP
When: Wednesday, September 6th. 4:30pm-6pm.
Where: RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity (MAGIC). Building 87, Room 1600. Parking is available in “S” Lot, near crossroads dining hall.

FOSS Talks are possible thanks to: The RIT MAGIC Center