Ann Makosinski is a 24-year-old Polish-Filipino Canadian student inventor doing numerous global appearances and keynote talks. Ann’s first toy was a box of old transistors which launched her journey into the world of inventing. As early as 11, Ann started participating in the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair, and developed a passion to explore the world of alternative energy harvesting.
When Ann was fourteen years old, she found out that her friend Maria in the Philippines failed a grade in school because her family couldn’t afford electricity. Maria therefore had no light to study with when darkness hit at 6 pm, so Ann set about finding a solution. After a year of research and experimenting, Ann invented the Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand. Ann’s invention ended up going viral and winning the prestigious 1st prize at the International Google Science Fair in Mountainview, California.
After the wins, Ann was featured in countless local, nation-wide, and international news outlets. She became an avid global keynote speaker, invited to present at myriads of business/technology conferences, giving five TEDx talks around the world, and conducting multiple interviews from her basement workshop in Victoria. During her grade eleven year, Ann demonstrated the flashlight to Jimmy Fallon on his premiere week hosting the Tonight Show and was included on the prestigious Times Magazine World Changers 30 under 30 list.
Ann then invented another energy saving device – the eDrink. The eDrink harvests the excess heat of one’s hot drink and converts it into electricity, which gives one’s phone battery a boost of energy. More awards and interviews followed, and Ann with her father set up Makotronics Enterprises Incorporated in Victoria, a BC corporation to manage the patenting and licensing of her inventions. Ann’s gift of speech and presentation launched her into becoming one of the most sought after inventors and keynote speakers of her generation. She was then named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Energy sector, and was also named on BC Business Magazine’s 30 Under 30.
After graduating high school in 2015, Ann entered UBC and juggled her schoolwork and traveling/speaking status. In January 2017, Ann contracted a viral inflammation of the cerebellum which completely incapacitated her. She spent over two weeks at the Vancouver General Hospital, recovering her speech, eyesight, and body movement, as the whole right side of her body had stopped functioning properly. Ann continued to recover for months at home in Victoria, losing two terms of school and transferring to UVic, which she could attend from home. She very luckily made a full recovery, and began working hard once again.
Ann was named one of Glamour Magazine’s top ten College Women of the Year, one of seven of Teen Vogue Global Earth Angels, and Popular Science’s “Breakout Young Inventor of the Year.” Ann appeared with Miley Cyrus for Converse, was named the global brand ambassador for Uniqlo fleece, in addition to endorsing many other brands including the Google Pixel 2, where she worked with Vice to create the campaign.
Ann has frequently travelled the world delivering keynote talks, ranging from events hosted by McCann Erickson in NYC for their major clients, a private event at the Pictet Bank in Geneva, and the King Abdullah’s University for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia where she presented talks to the university students, as well as local high school students. She also had the honour of being invited as a Youth Ambassador on the Canada C3 Expedition, where she sailed through the NorthWest Passage on an icebreaker, while stopping and talking to the students in remote Inuit communities. Ann was also honored to be one of Canada’s five chosen representatives at the I7 in Turin, Italy, which was an innovation focused committee that reported their feedback and thoughts to the annual G7 conference.
Ann spoke at the Forbes Impact Summit in NYC, the Congreso Futuro in Chile, the Atlantic Festival in Ireland, the Y20 Summit in Argentina, and the EF Leadership Summit in Berlin. Ann returned to Berlin to speak at the Greentech Conference (run in partnership by racecar driver Nico Rosberg and the Formula E Championship), and she has represented the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) multiple times in their Future Launch campaign.
In June 2019, Ann moved to New York City and began working on a collection of innovative, eco-friendly children’s toys powered by thermoelectric energy, as well as a line of plushies/plastic collectibles that represent different electronic parts of a circuit. Her toys were profiled on a CNN article. Ann ended 2019 by speaking for the Lili’uokalani Fund in Honolulu, a Girl Scouts event in Omaha, at the International Project Management Forum in Dubai, and presenting at an event for Red Bull Basement University in Toronto. Before Covid invaded, Ann had one last in person presentation in Switzerland, where she gave multiple talks to the different classes at the Zurich International School.
During the pandemic, Ann has continued taking online classes, working towards her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Victoria. She has kept busy speaking virtually to an engineering program run by the University of Tennessee, an online panel for the Filipino program Kids for Kids Habilin, a Workplace Skills conference for UVic Gustavson Business school, students of KAUST’s Gifted Student Program, and presenting at the Rukami Festival in Russia. She has also been invited by the luxury travel company Abercrombie and Kent to join as a member of their expedition staff for the “Inspiring the Next Generation” expedition in 2022 (fingers crossed). She appeared as the featured inventor in Rebel Girls Adventure Awaits! Fest, and is also recording a podcast for Rebel Girls Good Night Stories Podcast. Ann had the recent honour of being named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual issue as one of their potential “Young Millionaires”.
Ann is currently in talks with East West Ventures to direct and co-produce a documentary about the Asian American actress Anna May Wong, and Ann is also signed with a UK book agent to begin writing her first book about art and science in 2022. Ann also partnered with a Canadian-American production company to develop a unique television show about Futurism, which she hopes to host once it is picked up. They are currently in the process of pitching the idea to major networks. Ann is also one of the faces of Maybelline’s campaign for their new Green Edition makeup line, a big step for girls in STEAM!