Mission

Our mission is to position Marquette as a premier city for innovation and business development through our process to identify, nurture, and cultivate the growth and success of technology-based innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups throughout our community. We aim to uplift Marquette’s unique business ecosystem by offering access to important resources, funding, workforce talent, and network collaboration. Through this collaboration, the Marquette region will continue to be recognized for its ability to draw businesses of all sizes and backgrounds to the shores of Lake Superior in the years to come.

Together, we can uplift Marquette’s unique business ecosystem. 

Innovate Marquette offers valuable and accessible resources to innovators, entrepreneurs, and business owners in the Marquette area. We support technology-based innovations, new business ventures, new job creation and existing business expansion by leveraging our local and state-wide network to bring funding, workforce talent and a collaborative mindset to the Marquette ecosystem and beyond…

We believe your idea could change the world.
We believe collaboration drives innovation.
We believe that entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, and small business owners are the catalysts for economic development in the Marquette area.

Our Core Values

Here at Innovate Marquette, our team takes pride in upholding our core values, as we believe them to be non-negotiable when making decisions not only for our internal team but for the clients and community we serve. Our company culture is the set of behaviors and practices that have evolved from these values and our mission, reflecting how leaders and employees act even when no one is watching.
  1. Accessibility – We aim to enable all innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs to gain equitable and inclusive access to necessary resources, funding, education and collaboration in the Marquette community through our network of ecosystem partners.
  2. Collaboration – While entrepreneurship is often seen as a lonely endeavor we believe that by tapping into our vast array of local and regional partners we can leverage the best resources for local entrepreneurs, innovators, and business owners.
  3. Creativity – We believe creativity is the backbone of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation and are dedicated to supporting creative thinking and business to fuel our economy.
  4. Belonging– Everyone deserves a place where they belong which is why we believe one cannot have innovation without a sense of belonging. We do this by providing equal opportunities and resources to those who may otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
  5. Sustainability – Sustainable economics and business practices are in the core of our organization. We approach sustainable practices for ourselves, our clients, and our community from a human, social, economic, and environmental perspective, always putting people before profit.

Our Core Values

Here at Innovate Marquette, our team takes pride in upholding our core values, as we believe them to be non-negotiable when making decisions not only for our internal team but for the clients and community we serve.

Our company culture is the set of behaviors and practices that have evolved from these values and our mission, reflecting how leaders and employees act even when no one is watching. 

  1. Accessibility – We aim to enable all innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs to gain equitable and inclusive access to necessary resources, funding, education and collaboration in the Marquette community through our network of ecosystem partners.
  2. Collaboration – While entrepreneurship is often seen as a lonely endeavor we believe that by tapping into our vast array of local and regional partners we can leverage the best resources for local entrepreneurs, innovators, and business owners.
  3. Creativity – We believe creativity is the backbone of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation and are dedicated to supporting creative thinking and business to fuel our economy.
  4. Belonging– Everyone deserves a place where they belong which is why we believe one cannot have innovation without a sense of belonging. We do this by providing equal opportunities and resources to those who may otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
  5. Sustainability – Sustainable economics and business practices are in the core of our organization. We approach sustainable practices for ourselves, our clients, and our community from a human, social, economic, and environmental perspective, always putting people before profit.

What types of business ideas do we work with?

SmartZone’s work primarily with technology-enabled start-ups, innovators, and new businesses that fall within the accessibility, sustainability, and creative sectors. Through our partnerships, we are able to expand our service reach into product development with the management of Northern Michigan University’s Invent@NMU program and to local, small businesses through our partnerships with organizations such as Accelerate UP. From creating a more accessible outdoor lifestyle for people of all abilities, to sustainable ways of keeping our natural resource industries thriving, and providing access to creative technologies to our local community we’re here for you.

Though we may not carry you entirely through your journey, like the North Star we’ll certainly guide you home.

Michigan SmartZones

Thanks to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the State of Michigan has designated twenty-one distinct tech hubs located all across the state, referred to as “SmartZones”. These areas encourage symbiotic collaborations between pillars of the community: universities, community organizations, municipalities, and public-private institutions.

Learn more about Michigan SmartZones

Innovate Marquette offers a variety of programs to support entrepreneurs and small businesses with a focus on tech start-ups in our region to fuel our community’s economic growth.

See how our programs can help your idea get off the ground.

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