SmartSummit brings innovators together

SmartSummit brings innovators together

MARQUETTE — Entrepreneurs and other innovators gathered together this afternoon to pitch ideas and innovations to a group of judges.

The competition is called ‘SmartPrize 2016.’ It’s part of a two–day event called ‘SmartSummit’, held at the University Center at Northern Michigan University. Each of the presenters had three minutes to sell the judges on their product or idea.

Vikki Kulju, a volunteer with the Upper Peninsula Brewing Company, pitched an idea to bring a brewery to the soon–to–be renovated Sunberg Building in Negaunee.

“From the tourism perspective, we’re right on the Iron Ore Heritage Trail System and that is promoted widely through the state of Michigan through the Pure Michigan campaign,” said Kulju. “Through the efforts of our local tourism boards, we love the idea of… right now in Ishpeming, you have a brew pub on the trail system and in Marquette you have a brew pub on the trail system, so why not have one in Negaunee? Imagine what a tourist attraction that would be.”

The winners will be announced at the SmartPrize Awards Banquet Tuesday night at 6:15 p.m.