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MTEC not worried about competition from kiosk

CALUMET — While there is a high degree of excitement in the village in regard to the launching of the new remote kiosk at Keweenaw Coffee Works, there is also some local concern that the Marquette SmartZone is encroaching on the territory of the MTEC SmartZone in Houghton. However, MTEC SmartZone Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marilyn Clark, who was at the kiosk launch on Tuesday, said she does not see it that way.

When the MTEC SmartZone was granted funding for a 15-year extension in 2016, one of the requirements to be met was creating a new SmartZone, which it did in Marquette.

“We helped them get started,” Clark said, “and there has been great collaboration. They are expanding through the U.P. with their own model.”

Clark said the MTEC SmartZone helps the person who want to start and run a business get the skills through the organization, while the Marquette SmartZone’s model is to hire students to do that analysis work and give it to the entrepreneur. So, while the two organizations present different approaches, their ultimate common goal is to create jobs and expand business.

While many are concerned over encroachment, Clark said the two actually complement each other.

The Daily Mining Gazette will present a more in-depth article with Clark on the topic in Thursday’s edition.

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