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Kiosk launch could put Calumet at an advantage

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Kylie Bunting, marketing coordinator at Innovate Marquette SmartZone, Invent@NMU, demonstrates the simplicity of using the remote kiosk for submitting product or business ideas, or inventions for review and help moving forward to market.

CALUMET — Invent@NMU Marquette SmartZone celebrated the launch of its remote kiosk Tuesday at the Keweenaw Coffee Works on Fifth Street. Calumet’s kiosk creates the opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs to submit an idea for a product, invention, or a business, and receive a QuickExplore review and response from the Invent@NMU team within 72 business hours.

Kylie Bunting, marketing coordinator at Innovate Marquette SmartZone’s Invent@NMU and Rachel Berra presented the concept to an audience that included village council members, business owners and others, to learn more about what the kiosk can do for members of the community.

Bunting said the intent of Invent@NMU is to expand that organization’s resources throughout the entire Upper Peninsula, and one of the ways they found to do that was though the kiosks.

“We decided to launch these remote kiosks,” said Bunting, “to give people anywhere the opportunity to come, submit a business idea, which will come through our office, and within three business days, we will get back to you with what we call ticket scores.”

A ticket score, she said, is a quick look at the market to determine if there are five similar products already on the market, or is it a viable concept that should be developed. From the concept phase, then, the submitter can receive necessary help to bring the product to completion,

Village President Dave Geisler, who was at the presentation, said the kiosk is a great opportunity for creative people who want to start a business, but do not want to move away to do it.

“It’s sad to see people graduate from high school, graduate from college, then have to move away,” Geisler said. “If they’re creative and have some great ideas, it can happen right here in Calumet. What idea, what product might be developed right here in Calumet?”

Calumet’s Downtown Development Authority, 330 Fifth, and REL, partnered with Invent@NMU to bring the remote kiosk to the village, where interested parties can use it at Keweenaw Coffee Works.

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