New NMU business development entity may be area boon

A new entrepreneurial center in Marquette is going to open doors to a wide variety of people with great product ideas but without the know-how on how to bring those ideas to fruition.

Northern Michigan University recently held a ribbon-cutting for the new center, Invent@NMU.

An individual can walk into Invent@NMU with only an idea; a business plan is not required. For a flat fee of $75 for students and $150 for the public, the staff will help to complete the initial validation phase.

The individual will receive a folder which contains results of a survey on such factors as target audience and lifetime revenue potential, the score the idea received from an advisory panel composed primarily of NMU faculty and academic department heads and an intellectual property report that details comparable products, if they exist, as well as pricing.

Those who elect to proceed to the ideation stage and beyond – commercialization, production and ultimately operations – will pay an hourly fee of $20 for students and $30 for the public.

We think this organization, located at 1400 Presque Isle Ave., takes a formerly vacant building and puts it to great use. Its proximity to Northern and downtown Marquette also make it easily accessible for not only Northern students, faculty and staff, but for the general public as well.

We can’t know what kinds of ideas will come out of this center, but we do know there can be no downside to a place like Invent@NMU.

Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit is never a bad thing. And giving people with great ideas a place to turn those ideas into real products sold in today’s marketplace will undoubtedly help plenty of would-be entrepreneurs turn into actual business owners.

We commend Northern for launching this great organization, and we look forward to the many amazing products we are sure will come from it in the ensuing years.