Innovate Marquette Manages Invent@NMU Mentorship Program

Known as the idea incubator® at Northern Michigan University, this unique program offers a variety of entrepreneurial support services, forging mutually beneficial partnerships between NMU students and local ideators and inventors benifitting the local business community. Innovate Marquette is proud to manage this program in cooperation with the university.

In October of 2014, Northern Michigan University launched the Invent@NMU program, an experiential learning opportunity for students and local inventors, entrepreneurs, and business owners to establish a symbiotic partnership.

Students are given the chance to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations, while simultaneously contributing to the Upper Peninsula’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and giving entrepreneurs with product and businesses ideas an opportunity to receive cost effective support in bringing new ideas to life.

In 2017, Innovate Marquette was asked to partner with Northern Michigan University in overseeing and managing the Invent@NMU program. Today, our unique team is composed of student employees from NMU led by expert business professionals from Innovate Marquette.

This mentorship program’s success speaks for itself: data has shown that 99% of Invent@NMU student employees were able to find a job in their field within six months of graduation.

Meet our alumni and hear their stories.


In 2022, Invent@NMU is partnering with the College of Business to add an additional component to NMU’s Entrepreneurship Program’s annual Big Pitch Event, a new business venture competition that results in students potentially winning thousands of dollars to get their business ideas off the ground. This new addition, with the help of Innovate Marquette, is called the competition called the “Mini-Pitch”.

What is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and where does Invent@NMU fit in?

An entrepreneurial or business ecosystem is a diverse set of individuals, businesses, and systems that support the creation and growth of new opportunities for the larger community.

In order for an ecosystem to succeed, it has to have four important elements: people, technology, capital, and infrastructure. Each entity in the ecosystem affects and is affected by others, creating a constantly evolving relationship between each other that must be characterized by flexibility and adaptability in order to survive.

The most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems act as talent magnets and innovation incubators, leading to greater economic and populace growth within the geographical region.

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