Who We Are

Invent@NMU is a program of Northern Michigan University that has helped inventors take their ideas from napkin sketches to market launch since October 2014. While our roots are in product development, we’ve recognized many small businesses in the U.P. need a variety of assistance as well, and have recently expanded our services and capabilities to help these individuals too.  

Our mission is to provide students with phenomenal, real-world work experiences through the course of their education while also contributing to and supporting our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Since inception, our four core goals have been to enhance student attraction, retention, placement after graduation, and to stimulate economic development in our community and region.

In July 2017, we partnered with Innovate Marquette SmartZone to enhance our organization’s connection to the community and offer even more business resources to you. The SmartZone’s multi-fold mission of start-up support, tech company acceleration, and innovation of the Marquette entrepreneurial ecosystem complements our program and allows for a greater range and depth of services to be offered to our clients.  This partnership is made possible by funding from the Michigan Education Development Corporation (MEDC).

 

Invent@NMU Student Teams

Our unique program gives students the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary, professional atmosphere, gaining real-world experience before they graduate. Our student teams consist of individuals from a variety of majors that may include business, design, engineering, and marketing, collaborate with the SmartZone’s professional mentors to help you navigate the best path to success for your idea. Collectively, these talented workers research competitive landscapes, design and make prototypes, create logos and packaging, build websites, source materials and manufacturers, and engage in marketing campaigns, just to name a few things.

The student employment program is not just an opportunity for them- it’s a benefit for you. Our student’s contribute fresh minds to the product and business development process and are eager to apply their creativity in a practical setting. If you are a student and are interested in joining our team, please drop off a resume and application.  We may not have a position posted, but we are always looking for talented individuals with unique skill sets!  We are always accepting applications!

Meet our creative student team:

Mechanical Engineering Team

  • Doug O’Hagan

    Doug O’Hagan

    Doug O’Hagan

    Fabricator

  • Sam Cassidy

    Sam Cassidy

    Sam Cassidy

    Mechanical Engineering Technologist

Marketing Team

  • Abby Fifarek

    Abby Fifarek

    Abby Fifarek

    Marketing Specialist

    Abby is a senior at Northern Michigan University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing, with a minor in hospitality service management.

  • Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Marketing Assistant

  • Lordia DiPiazza

    Lordia DiPiazza

    Lordia DiPiazza

    Marketing Assistant

Design Team

  • Chad Leisenring

    Chad Leisenring

    Chad Leisenring

    Graphic Designer

  • Chelsey Bassett

    Chelsey Bassett

    Chelsey Bassett

    Industrial Designer

    Chelsey is a senior at Northern Michigan University majoring human-centered design.

  • Maddie Arquette

    Maddie Arquette

    Maddie Arquette

    Graphic Designer

  • Rebekah Matuzak

    Rebekah Matuzak

    Rebekah Matuzak

    Industrial Designer

    Rebekah is a senior at Northern Michigan University majoring in human-centered design.

  • Tiffany Nutt

    Tiffany Nutt

    Tiffany Nutt

    Graphic Designer

    Tiffany is a non-traditional junior at Northern Michigan University studying Graphic Design. She is looking forward to working in her chosen field after graduation as well as continuing hobbies like photography.

Project Management Team

  • Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Marketing Assistant

  • Pierson Boyer

    Pierson Boyer

    Pierson Boyer

    Project Manager

    Pierson is an NMU student pursuing his Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Corporate Administration. After graduation, Pierson wants to pursue a job in consulting and eventually launch his own tech based company. Pierson also loves birds, so if all works out with his first business, he might start an aviary. Simple man, simple dreams.

Management Team

Our management team is comprised of professionals who are passionate about the development of student talent, entrepreneurial support, and the expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula.  Their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and networks lead to a wide range of capabilities and knowledge around product development and the entrepreneurial process.  

Meet the management team:

  • Ray Johnson

    Ray Johnson

    Ray Johnson

    Executive Director & Innovate Marquette SmartZone CEO

  • Jason Schaen

    Jason Schaen

    Jason Schaen

    Project Management Lead

  • Kristen King

    Kristen King

    Kristen King

    Principal Secretary

  • Kylie Bunting

    Kylie Bunting

    Kylie Bunting

    Marketing Manager

  • Paulette Perttunen

    Paulette Perttunen

    Paulette Perttunen

    Operations & Finance Administrator

  • Rachel Barra

    Rachel Barra

    Rachel Barra

    Program Manager