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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Invent@NMU aids inventors and entrepreneurs

Invent@NMU has provided services ranging from marketing a local resident’s paint brush scrubber to solving a filtration issue for the Marquette-based  company Easy Ice in its past 17 months of operation.

A new Products and Propulsion page for Invent@NMU was added to the NMU website last week, highlighting its client success stories.

Invent@NMU welcomes ideas from all stages of the invent process, offering services to a spectrum of clients from the corporate end all the way down to people who have an idea that they have been working on in their garage.

This program started as an experiment, Founding Director of Invent@NMU David Ollila said. In the business world there were a lot of people hunting for “Unicorns,” or quickly growing companies’ worth over $1 billion, and these received the most investment dollars.

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“That really excludes a lot of ideas from the opportunity,” Ollila said. “So our model was like this: What if everyone had a chance, and what if you made it more accessible to innovators and not necessarily just the entrepreneurs?”

Innovators and inventors have a lot of ideas but do not always have the entrepreneurial skills needed to get products out on the market, Ollila said.

Of all the projects brought through the doors, 75 percent have come from community members and the rest from students. NMU students can come through the first stages of the “Invent process” for free.

The program is mostly run by student employees, said Emma Finkbeiner, senior public relations major and public relation specialist at Invent@NMU. There are about 12 student workers, with only one full-time and two part-time professional  staff members.

The student staff is composed of an assortment of majors including mechanical engineering and technologies (MET), graphic design, business and public relations.

“I think that it is such a great success for NMU to be housing a program like this because it really shows that when these sort of hidden-gem programs at NMU come together, they can really create success,” Finkbeiner said.

Invent@NMU is unique in the way that it works with both the community and the students, Austin Morris, MET major and mechanical engineer at Invent@NMU, said of the organization.

“We can help them, and they can help us,” Morris said, “because it gives us the experience and gives them the product or idea that they’re looking to come up with.”

Editor’s Note: For transparency, Emma Finkbeiner is the assistant news editor at The North Wind.

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