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We were very excited to announce the Future 8 Awards last week, and more excitingly we’re ready to announce our first category sponsor!

The big news first: Belkin International, the awesome people behind WeMo (which lets you customize your smart-home experience) are our official MAKER sponsor!

When Belkin first told us about WeMo, we were a bit ‘woah’. Designed for inventors and tinkerers, the WeMo Maker uses ‘If this, then that’ (IFTTT) technology that allows you to create triggers between electronics at home. So for example you could program the WeMo to automatically detect when it’s raining and start flashing the house lights on and off to chase your cat outside. That of course would be a terrible but hugely entertaining example.

The even bigger news is the prize from Belkin. This is a seriously big deal. The winner of the Maker category (as judged by our panel) will win an exclusive learning experience with Belkin’s top product developers (these are the folks responsible for some of the world’s leading smart-home technology). You can’t interview for this position-it’s ONLY available if you win the Future8 MAKER category. Have you registered for it yet? Do you know someone under-18 who you think should enter? Tell them now!

Kieran Hannon, Chief Marketing Officer of Belkin International stated: “As a company, Belkin believes strongly in the intersection of education and technology and is honored recognize the next wave of tech industry superstars through the Future8 Awards. Giving kids access to the best and brightest minds at Belkin will help them further develop their digital skills, inspire a deeper love of technology and show them a path forward to a bright, successful future.”

You heard it. Know any budding hardware hackers? Pass this mail on to them or point them at the Future8 Awards site for more info!