Cathe Hahn is a woman with adventure on her mind. “I have always had a passion for the outdoors and the desire to create something for people to enjoy.” She is a lifelong sailmaker who was working at a Harbor Springs boat shop when she struck inspiration. Hahn watched as the paddleboard craze commenced during the summer of 2012, and imagined a way to put a twist on the recreational experience by using the paddle to create a sail allowing enthusiasts to gently glide across the water. She named her company Patagium after the membrane of the Australian marsupial called the Sugarglider. This dubbed the title of her featured product mimicking the gliding ability of the animal.
After limited marketing efforts were made, Hahn found that sales were not where they needed to be and she put the project on hold. Several years later she decided to revive Patagium and take her concept to the next level shortly after moving to Marquette, Michigan, where she was introduced to the SmartZone and Invent@NMU. The programs advised her to sign up for the SmartZone’s entrepreneurs boot camp, LaunchPad, where she was able to delve into and refine the business model around her product. Hahn reignited Patagium and made local connections who have been able to help her boost the product’s presence, reinvent her website, start promoting the Sugarglider, and place the product in local outdoors stores.