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Innovation Marquette Enterprise Corporation


Marquette, MI

Build to Scale Program

Capital Challenge

Project Name

Make It Marquette Start to Scale

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



Marquette SmartZone proposes Make It Marquette Start to Scale (Marquette STS) to expand capital deployment and increase access to early-stage risk capital for scalable technology startups in rural regions throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Marquette STS will leverage educational, economic development and capital investor partnerships including Northern Michigan University (NMU), the NMU Foundation and Alumni Association, Invest UP, and the Innovation Shore Angel Network (ISAN) to drive significant capital resources to the region’s scalable tech startups. Together with project partners, Marquette STS will create an innovative crowdfunding platform, educate local angel investors about scalable tech investment opportunities and connect to state, regional and national venture capital (VC) networks. Marquette STS outputs and outcomes include the following:

  • support 30 scalable tech startups with the support of $5,000-$30,000 each worth of financial assistance for services from crowdfunding members
  • engage 50 new angel investors to provide $750,000 in seed funding and sponsor 15 startups through acceleration; and,
  • cultivate 25 new VC firms to invest $1.5 million to $5 million in scalable tech startups in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The project is also designed to be 100 percent sustainable after the proposed three-year project timeline.

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Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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