The new Marquette Smart Zone has a name. The organizing committee has chosen Innovation Marquette Enterprise Corporation as its official title… and “Innovate Marquette” as the working name. Former Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes has been consulting with organizers in Marquette. The new zone is a spin-off of the MTEC SmartZone in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Establishment of the new zone also enabled the MTEC Zone to extend its authorization until 2032.
Here is the official release from the Marquette SmartZone organizers:
Marquette’s new SmartZone ad-hoc committee has been hard at work writing by-laws, creating the 501(c)3 corporation, adding to its Board and beginning the process of hiring an executive director. This committee recently determined the official name will be the Innovation Marquette Enterprise Corporation (IMEC), or “Innovate Marquette”.
The City of Marquette had approved the formation of a Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) last year and establishment of a SmartZone with the State of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Economic Development approved the agreement on February 11th and the LDFA wasted no time in appointing an ad-hoc committee consisting of local entrepreneurs and talent to help jump start the satellite of Houghton/Hancock’s SmartZone (MTEC).
“We are really energized and excited to be progressing through the paperwork and organization of the LDFA and SmartZone plans so we can move forward in creating high-tech, high-quality businesses and jobs here in Marquette with the focus on life-sciences, green-technologies, IT and Social Media, Natural Resources and Food Systems technology companies” said Rosemary Smith, Chair of the LDFA. “With the SmartZone and investment back into Marquette from the State of Michigan through Tax Increment Financing and grants, along with modeling the success of MTEC’s SmartZone, we hope to preserve the brain trust and graduates in our community and help boost the economy in the U.P.”
“We have been very pleased and impressed by the local talent that has volunteered to help jump start the SmartZone,” added Chair of the SmartZone ad-hoc committee, Fred Taccolini. “Lee Francisco, 906 Technologies; Russ Tripp, U.P. Rehab; Bob Niemi, former Mayor of Marquette, Scott MacInness, former Houghton City Manager; Brad Canale, University of Michigan and Fritz Erickson, President of NMU have joined me and Rosemary to brainstorm and create the SmartZone documents. This group has excellent vision and business sense and that’s what is needed to create successful entrepreneurs.”
The next steps for the SmartZone include adding qualified Board Members and conducting an executive director search. For additional information, feel free to visit: www.mqtcty.org/smartzone.php.