[email protected] expands with on-campus kiosk

Invent@NMU expands with on-campus kiosk

Kelsii Kyto

[email protected] is getting prepared to launch its first kiosk on campus, opening the doors for students to easily submit their ideas.

The official launch date for the kiosk is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Lydia M. Olsen Library.

Since the kiosk has been up and running in the library, [email protected] has received three ideas from students, Project Management Lead at [email protected] Jason Schaen said.
“We think it’s giving our program great awareness,” he said.

The kiosk hasn’t been fully launched yet, due to the class cancellation due to weather on Wednesday, Jan. 30. The event has not yet been rescheduled. Schaen anticipates that after the official launch, students will share more ideas.

The kiosk is fairly easy to use, Marketing Coordinator at [email protected] Kylie Bunting said. It is complete with a touchscreen that brings the user to the [email protected] website. Once clicking the “submit an idea” box in the right-hand corner of the screen, students can give their name, contact information and a description of their idea. Students can be as detailed as they’d like, Bunting said.

“All ideas submitted are confidential from the moment the inventor or entrepreneur shares it with any member of the [email protected] team,” Bunting noted.

Once an idea is submitted, the [email protected] team performs a free “Quick Explore,” which takes about 15 minutes. The team then sends the information back to their client and the client decides whether they’d like to take the next steps with their idea. Clients can move as fast or as slow as they would like, she added.

“We are excited to connect with students, faculty and staff to show them [email protected]’s capabilities and encourage them to bring [any of] their ideas to us so we can help them with next steps,” Bunting said.

Whether or not students submit their ideas directly on the kiosk, the kiosk piques their interest with [email protected] and the most likely submit their ideas on their computer at home, Bunting said.
“The kiosk is a great way to draw attention to [email protected] and show campus members and the community that we can help with product, invention and business ideas–no matter what stage the ideas are currently in,” Bunting said.

Out of all ideas that [email protected] receives, only 20 percent are from students, Bunting added, and the rest are community members. Bunting’s hope is that the kiosk will change this, and garner more student ideas.

“We know there are some great ideas from [students] waiting for next steps,” she said.

NMU students have access to a donation fund to further explore their ideas with [email protected]’s services with less of the cost, Schaen noted.

[email protected] previously opened a kiosk in Gogebic county, something that enhances [email protected]’s overall mission to support economic development throughout the upper peninsula, Bunting said.
“It’s great we are able to provide our services to everyone across the U.P.,” Bunting said.

[email protected] is launching another kiosk in Negaunee on Thursday, Feb. 21, and hopes to launch more during the year, Bunting said.

“You never know what will come out of an idea. What starts as something in your head can evolve into the next big thing,” Bunting said.