Outdoor Innovation

What is Outdoor Innovation?

Outdoor innovation refers to creative advancements in the outdoor industry that are often utilized when recreating in a natural environment. Through outdoor innovation we aim to increase mobility, comfort and accessibility.   

Outdoor recreation is the act of enjoying the outdoors through activities like hiking, mountain biking, climbing, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, snowmobiling and more.

Outdoor innovation allows us to introduce new ideas to existing activities to improve the user experience. It’s the process of taking existing activities and making them more accessible/sustainable for those recreating on the trails.


In 2022, the outdoor industry was valued at $862 billion. In Michigan, over 63% of residents participate in an outdoor activity each year. While outdoor recreation is not a new industry, it has seen rapid growth since 2020 and is projected to grow over a trillion dollars in the next few years. Through outdoor innovation, recreation can become safer, more comfortable and convenient, while aiding economic growth in Michigan.

The Upper Peninsula is known for its extensive trail network, public lands and freshwater access.  We can utilize these natural resources by introducing new low impact activities right here in the U.P. With over 1,700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and over 2,000 miles of trails for hiking, biking and snowmobiling, the Upper Peninsula is the ideal setting for advancements in the outdoor industry. 

The outdoor industry is $862 billion dollars strong and growing. Through outdoor innovation, we continue to add to this momentum by making clean, quiet, and convenient exclusive experiences. As leaders in the outdoor innovation space, we’re ensuring access to all of our trail networks while honoring our heritage and supporting sustainability.

Innovation Week

In partnership with SISU: The Innovation Institute at NMU, we’re excited to announce a brand new event coming to Marquette this year! 

Innovation Week is a three-day professional development conference bringing together thought leaders, innovators, and creative minds in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Featuring keynote speakers, carefully curated innovation quests, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities, Innovation Week will inspire, enlighten, and spark curiosity.

Visit innovation-week.org for information on keynote speakers, innovation quests and the full schedule of events. 

Suitable Sized Vehicles

What’s the deal with electric vehicles?

Electrifying the way we recreate creates a clean, quiet, and convenient experience. We’re taking top of the line electric vehicles and innovating them to be efficient and sustainable. Through outdoor innovation, we can extend the lifespan of existing vehicles and integrate the use of renewable energy to power them.

Why in Marquette? 

You don’t have to be an expert sportsman or athlete to utilize clean and comfortable recreation. We’re working on vehicles that are easy to use and beginner-friendly. The Upper Peninsula’s expansive trail networks and dedication to land preservation make Marquette the ideal destination for outdoor innovation. Our goal is not to bring in new, loud vehicles to disturb our trail systems- it’s to give more people access to the outdoor recreation lifestyle by innovating existing products and improving them to sustain and take care of our landscape while creating a clean and quiet experience.

See the suitable sized electric vehicles we’re working on below: 

Visit MoonBike.

“Fun. Silent. Immersive. No Noise. No Smell. No Operational Footprint. Easy to Ride. Easy to Transport. Easy to Store” (MoonBike).


  • “100% Electric
  • Instant torque & 26 MPH top speed
  • Up to 3H with the PowerPack option
  • Highly efficient powertrain” (MoonBike).


Image: moonbikes.com

Visit Volcon.

“The Grunt is an innovative, easy-to-operate electric motorcycle that allows people to experience outdoor adventure or get work done in an efficient and fun way. With no gears, no clutch, no gas and no noise the Grunt is easy to ride and enjoy by off-road-enthusiast families, or those completely new to two wheels” (Volcon)


  • “High torque motor
  • Low seat heigh
  • Off-road use only
  • Up to 75 miles range (with additional battery)
  • Three ride modes plus reverse
  • App based navigation, vehicle controls, and community” (Volcon)


Image: volcon.com

Visit OneWheel

“A totally redesigned control system uses higher voltage for more power, torque and dynamic performance at all speeds. And who doesn’t like more voltage” (OneWheel).


  • “Higher voltage for more power, torque and dynamic performance at all speeds. 
  • 3 horsepower motor
  • Up to 32mi/52km range on a single charge.
  • Concave footpads, grippier grip tape, and a custom tire profile combine for even deeper carving and more board feel.
  • State-of-the-art 21700 batteries provide peak performance across the state of charge.
  • Brighter LED lights with 300% more lumens than XR and featuring new Highbeams for maximum visibility.
  • Every component of GT has been completely redesigned.
  • Assembled with care and precision in the USA” (OneWheel)..


Image: onewheel.com


“Climber is the first INMOTION’s electric scooter equipped with dual motors” (INMOTION).


  • “Dual 750W motors, producing a total nominal power of up to 1500W, taking on 36% slopes, inclines and any terrains with ease.
  • Max speed of up to 38km/h. 0 to 25km/h top out at 3.5 seconds.
  • IPX6-rated splash and water resistance
  • Features the smart Battery Management System(BMS) to constantly monitor the status of each battery cell and improve the available capacity of a battery pack. Also, it is built packed with a battery balancer in a battery pack to perform battery balancing, this can greatly increase each cell’s longevity and charging safety.
  • Thanks to the modular design and split-rim technology, tire changing can be done easily.
  • Equipped with electric brakes on both tires and disc brakes on the rear tire.
  • With the aircraft-grade aluminum, Climber is extremely sturdy and durable, providing a maximum load capacity of 130kg, which is generally enough to carry extra heavy riders” (INMOTION).

Image: inmotionworld.com

Visit TREK.

“Fuel EXe 9.7 redefines e-mountain biking with an entirely new motor that tucks away neatly for a ride that’s light, lively, and just as playful as a traditional mountain bike, with the added benefit of pedal assist to help you crush climbs” (TREK).


  • “An upgraded suspension package pairs with cherry-picked components for snappy shifting and precise modulation on the trail.
  • TQ-HPR50 motor is super-efficient with an amazing power-to-weight ratio. Most motors use gears and belts that take up space and can make noise or break. The TQ-HPR50 uses a harmonic pin-ring drive transmission that’s small, ultra-quiet, and unbelievably natural feeling.
  • 40% more range with an optional 160wh external battery. It fits in a standard bottle cage and doesn’t require any complicated wiring or special mounts.
  • The Trek Central app seamlessly connects with your bike for custom motor tuning, activity tracking and more ways to analyze and personalize your ride. You even get navigation features and real-time range calculations.
  • The 360 Wh battery gives you power for 2-5 hours. It’s concealed in the downtube, but it’s still easy to remove for more convenient charging.
  • Active Braking Pivot allows our engineers to tune how the suspension reacts to acceleration and braking forces independently. That means you get more confident control when you need it most” (TREK).


Image: trekbikes.com

Visit Specialized.

“The Turbo Tero means one thing: you’re going to need a bigger map” (Specialized).


  • “Ride anywhere range, this adventure-ready suspension electric bike allows the user to go anywhere, over anything, with everything.
  • Turbo Full Power 2.0E Motor and 530 Wh Battery- Integrated into the aluminum frame of the Tero 3.0, they effectively quadruple your own power, cranking out ample wattage to make short work of the steepest climbs and providing enough extra muscle to let you carry extra weight.
  • Mission Control and MasterMind- Mission Control allows you to tailor Tero’s power output levels to your desired preference—all three standard power modes can be almost infinitely adjusted to suit your power and range needs. MasterMind’s MicroTune function can adjust power output levels in 10% increments so that you can tune the range to suit your needs.
  • Aggressive but smooth rolling 29” wheels with 2.3” Ground Control tires offer ample traction in every situation, SRAM disc brakes deliver substantial braking bite, 110 mm of front suspension travel smooths the trail.
  • Turbo System Lock – Use the Mission Control app to disable your bike’s motor and activate the motion sensor alarm. Once locked, the motor cannot be enabled again except by the owner.
  • Fender, Rack, and Kickstand mounts. Rated to pull a thru-axle trailer. Child seat compatible” (Specialized).


Image: specialized.com

Visit Aventon.

“Foldable, storable, and easy to get onto, the Sinch Step-through makes getting on a bike and transporting one a breeze” (Aventon).


  • “Variable speed from 10-20mph
  • The Sinch ST folds and unfolds quickly and easily, and fits in car trunks, closets, RVs and under  desks. 
  • A unique backlit, color display shows the rider vital information.
  • Features a 500w brushless rear motor and combined it with a 14ah battery which means you’ll have the right power to get there, and enough battery to get home” (Aventon).


Image: aventon.com

Visit Not a Wheelchair.

“We’d like to introduce ‘The Rig’ a fully electric, super quiet, accessible bike that can go 12mph with a range of about 10-20 miles” (Not a Wheelchair).


  • “The Rig is constructed with an aluminum frame, detachable bumper, and four inch off road bike tires.
  • We designed this ‘off road wheelchair’ to be as easy to maintain and repair as possible. It’s made mostly with bicycle parts!
  • Top speed – 12mph.
  • Total weight of the Rig – 130lbs
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars.
  • 1000w motor – with reverse feature.
  • 48v 17amp hour battery” (Not a Wheelchair).

Image: notawheelchair.com

Visit VirsaQuest.

“VirsaQuest is an early stage, ready-for-investment startup out of Marquette. Our project is a patent-pending, revolutionary paddle board design that caters to all skill levels” (VirsaQuest).


  • VirsaQuest is currently in the prototyping phase. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Designed in Marquette, MI.


Image: virsaquest.com

Visit Ford.

“It’s not just one thing that makes a great truck, it’s a combination of features that make your truck great. From powerful engines to smart technology, there’s an F-150® pickup to fit all aspects of your life” (Ford).


  • “10 speed automatic transmission 
  • grunt-worthy 400 horse 5.0L Ti-VCT V8
  • F-150® Raptor® terrain-shredding monstrous twin-turbo 3.5L 450 horsepower
  •  Just when you thought you’d seen it all the 3.5L PowerBoost Hybrid churns out a massive 570 ft. lb. of torque to match it’s equally impressive 450 horsepower” (Ford).


Image: ford.com

Visit Ford.

“Whether, a day at the beach or room for all the hockey, baseball or soccer gear you need, with just a few clicks you can create the Transit® van that fits your family’s lifestyle” (Ford).



Image: ford.com

Innovate With Us

Do any of these electric vehicles interest you? If so, submit an ideaJoin us in the outdoor innovation revolution! Innovate Marquette is here to support businesses developing innovative products/technologies applicable to the outdoor recreation space.