Invent@NMU and Innovate Marquette SmartZone Celebrate Relaunch

Monday 12, 2018

Invent@NMU and Innovate Marquette SmartZone are hosting a celebration of their collaboration on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the new Ampersand Coworking Space located in the UP Masonic Center. The gathering will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by their monthly Business on Tap series at 6:30 p.m. featuring speakers Peter Pless, professor of human-centered design from Northern Michigan University, and Jason Schneider, executive director of the Marquette Chamber of Commerce.

This event is to introduce the partnership between Invent@NMU and Innovate Marquette SmartZone, and provide an opportunity for the community to connect with their management and student teams. They look forward to highlighting the services their combined organizations can now provide to our growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs, inventors and small business owners.

Ray Johnson, executive director of the Invent@NMU and Innovate Marquette SmartZone partnership says, “By joining forces and operating under one roof, we have created a very unique ‘idea incubator’ staffed by qualified NMU students and managed by professionals”.  Johnson adds, “Every idea is worth exploring, whether you have a high-tech, low-tech or no-tech idea for a business, product or service our team stands ready to help move your idea from concept to market launch.”  

The collaboration, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and 40 Below Young Professionals, sponsors the Business on Tap series, inviting community members to learn from regional experts in a variety of topics. Pless and Schneider will be presenting on “Design Thinking”, and how it relates to community and human-centered, product design.

The gathering is free to the public with giveaways and light refreshments provided. Invent@NMU and Innovate Marquette SmartZone encourage all to attend and take this opportunity to meet with the dedicated teams and find out more on how their services can be utilized.

For more information, contact Rachel Barra at 227-6261 or

This release was prepared by a student intern at Invent@NMU.