MARQUETTE — An innovator competition that highlights concepts, start–ups, and growth has begun its inaugural year in downtown Marquette.

22 exhibits can be found throughout various venues for the first year of SMARTPRIZE. At this point, people are asked to look at the exhibits, and cast a vote for their favorite. The winner will receive a $2,000. Over $20,000 will be awarded to different exhibits.

“Travel Marquette felt like this was a great opportunity to paint Marquette as a leader in entrepreneurism,” said Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nicole Young, “in the Midwest. We’ve got a great incubator community that’s just out there working so hard to put things into place. Our organization, our forte is marketing, and so we’re able to tell the story.”

The event wraps up with a two day conference held at NMU called SmartSummit. The conference is designed as an opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs to meet with investors and business teachers.

To cast your crowd favorite vote for SMARTPRIZE, click here.