SmartStart Logo

SmartStart – Join MTEC’s VP of Business Development, Jason Mack, as he guides innovators like you through 7 weeks of validating and growing your business idea. Now available in a digital format, you’ll be meeting virtually with other innovators to learn about how to get your idea from the napkin drawing to the consumer. Yes, there will be some homework along the way, but you’ll also get the chance to make important local connections while you build and polish up your pitch deck for the SmartStart Graduation Pitch Event. LEARN MORE

Transformative Technologies Logo


Transformative Technologies – Contact experienced tech entrepreneur Patrick Visser, MTEC’s Chief Commercial Officer, for this accelerated program designed to help mentor new high-tech startups and gain access to markets and investors. Services include one-on-one mentoring, accelerated commercialization services, financing and more.  LEARN MORE

TalentBridge Logo


TalentBridge – This program assists established businesses set up a satellite office in our area. Thanks to the rich talent pipeline of interns and new grads from Michigan Tech, participants have included companies such as GE Aviation, Ford, Jackson National Life Insurance, and Dematic.  LEARN MORE

Return North Logo

Return North – Return North is a Professional Careers Fair that aims to connect job seekers from all walks of life with opportunities to make their way back home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Currently offered on a virtual platform, professionals from many different industries are able to meet with potential employers from across the U.P.  These events occur twice each year and are hosted by the SmartZones in Houghton, Marquette, and Sault Ste Marie.   LEARN MORE

Husky Innovate and National Science Foundation Logos


NSF I-Corps Site Program – Similar to the idea behind SmartStart, I-Corps focuses on commercialization of ideas, technology, and processes. Hosted by Michigan Technological University’s Husky Innovate, the National Science Foundation program encourages entrepreneurs and offers mentoring, funding, training, networking opportunities and more. MTEC’s Patrick Visser and Jason Mack are often asked to provide support for particular innovators and businesses going through this program.


FinnZone Logo

FinnZone – Patrick Visser heads up this organization focused on creating and fostering opportunities for Finnish businesses to enter the US market. He’s a Finnish descendant himself and enjoys being a part of the strong Finnish culture present in the Keweenaw.  LEARN MORE