Mary Beckmann

Mary Beckmann
Community Manager—Mechanical

Mary Beckmann is a community manager for FirstBuild, a GE Appliances subsidiary grounded in Lean Startup principles. It’s designing a new way to innovate in a large corporate structure, bringing public design and engineering collaboration backed by a GE technical team. Beckmann spends her time working with universities’ senior design projects and the general public—taking appliance ideas from mind to market.

Beckmann holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics and has held roles with companies such as Hydro-Gear, Caterpillar, GE and most recently FirstBuild.

Mind to Market: FirstBuild?

FirstBuild is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GE Appliances that aims to bring more innovations to the home appliance market. The global co-creation community allows GE engineers to team up with enthusiasts to design, build and sell new appliances. Its Microfactory in Louisville, KY prototypes and manufacture sellable products in low volume—to find new markets and scale into mass production. Anyone and everyone can come, share ideas, see what we FirstBuild is working on, and develop with FirstBuild. Mary Beckmann will answer the question: Why would a big company like GE do this?

Workshop | Designing For Those In Need

FirstBuild, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GE Appliances, aims to bring more innovations to the home appliance market. At its Kentucky Microfactory—anyone and everyone can come, share ideas, develop projects and check out what's going on.

FirstBuild Community Manager Mary Beckmann will lead a hands-on workshop about the global co-creation community that allows GE engineers to team up with enthusiasts to design, build and sell new appliances. She will take a closer look at social impact design. "We have had a few Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects lately," she says. "They are very functional, so I'd like to throw a challenge out of what is the best interaction to open a front-loading washer for someone with disabilities." 

Beckmann is looking forward to "seeing the creativity come to life."