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Michigan Tech, SmartZone Collaborate to Help Research Move to the Marketplace

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

To help commercialize innovations that develop at Michigan Tech, the University recently created Superior Innovations. This for-profit company will help move entrepreneurs and their early-stage discoveries from labs and classrooms into the marketplace.

MTEC SmartZone has joined with Tech and Superior Innovations to help entrepreneurs establish intellectual property protection and prepare go-to-market strategies for their ideas.

Entrepreneurs will also have access to small business funding resources through the new collaboration. Fundraising strategies, prototype development and management recruitment are examples of early-stage issues that Superior Innovations can help an entrepreneur navigate.

For more than seven years, MTEC SmartZone has successfully provided resources and support to high-tech entrepreneurs, many of whom come from Michigan Tech. MTEC SmartZone, like the other SmartZones supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, provides technology-based facilities, resources and programs to high-growth entrepreneurs and companies, with the goal of increasing employment, income, wealth and recognition in the communities it serves.

Jim Baker, executive director for innovation and industry engagement, and John Diebel, vice president of Superior Innovations, said that the collaboration will help entrepreneurs build significant relationships with industry and Tech alumni-- connections that often prove critical to business growth. Baker and Diebel will work to provide early-stage ventures with appropriate resources inside and outside the University.

Once entrepreneurs are established with Superior Innovations, they can access additional statewide resources and actually grow their technology-based company inside the MTEC SmartZone.

"Often entrepreneurs start at Michigan Tech with grant funding, but that will only last through the prototype phase," says MTEC SmartZone Program Director Jonathan Leinonen. "We work with companies for additional investment--between fifty thousand and a half million dollars."

The collaboration between Tech, Superior Innovations and the MTEC SmartZone will continue to create companies and family-sustaining jobs in the Keweenaw. Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes said, "The MTEC SmartZone has created more than 300 jobs, and that number continues to grow. The idea of Superior Innovations is exciting because it will fuel even more job creation and keep Michigan Tech talent here."

For more information about Superior Innovations, contact Jim Baker at 487-2228.

For more information about the MTEC SmartZone, contact Program Director Jonathan Leinonen at 487-7004.


Polar Bear Cookbook

Thank you to everyone who submitted recipes for the Polar Bear Hockey Cookbook. The cookbooks are now available. The cost for the cookbooks are $10.00 so make sure to grab one for yourself and maybe one or two as a gift. They can be purchased at the Pat O'Donnel Civic Center concession stand or by contacting Kerry Roehm or Micki Sorensen.


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