SmartPrize 2017 Schedule of Events



When:  March 31 – April 9, 2017


Where: Marquette, Michigan


Your SmartPrize Exhibitor entry fee gets you into every event and activity, including the SmartPrize Awards Banquet. Non-competitors may purchase a SmartPrize Pass to attend all workshops and speaking events, with Awards Banquet tickets for purchase separately. Or pay at the door to attend individual events.  SmartPrize Pass and entry fees include food and door prize entry at each individual event. See schedule below.

Register Here

Friday, March 31


9 – 6pm     Registration – Travel Marquette – 117 W.Washington St.


Exhibits set up in Venues by 6pm


6-9pm      Opening Reception for Exhibitors and Venues – Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring

Catered by DIGS with Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway


Saturday, April 1


12 – 4pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


Sunday, April 2



SmartPrize Jr. – U.P. Children’s Museum – 123 W. Baraga Ave.


12-2pm       Setup


2pm            SmartPrize Junior Walk & Judging


3pm            Social and Reception


3:30pm      Winners Announced & Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway


6pm            SmartPrize Junior Social Media Crowd Favorite Voting Opens


Special guest host:  Bill Digneit, Double Trouble Entertainment & Head of NMU Forest Roberts Theatre


Cupcake Creation Station Catered By:

Joe’s Cake’s & Culinary Students of NMU


Monday, April 3


12 – 6pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


6-8pm     Workshop –  Thomas Coke, VP of North American Hubbub Fundraising – Crowdfunding – Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring –


6-8pm    Doncker’s Door Prize & Dining Delights


Tuesday, April 4


12 – 6pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


1-3pm   One-on-One mentoring with Jeff Wallace


6pm       Workshop –  Gisele Deuhring, Ore Dock BotEco Center – 2016 SmartPrize Tourism Winner – Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring –


7-8pm       Presenter –Jeff Wallace, President, Global Kinetics – Want These Three Letters – ROI, Focus on These Two – UX – Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring


6-8pm    Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway & Appetizers


Wednesday, April 5


12 – 6pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


6pm       Presentation  – Entrepreneurs on Tap –  Start-up Founders & Business Partners:  Have you Thought About A Prenuptial? – Zach Meyer, Varnum Law –  Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring

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7pm       Workshop – Dan Perkins, Partridge Creek Farms/Building an Agricultural Community – 2016 SmartPrize Growth Winner – Ore Dock Brewing Co. – 114 W. Spring


6-8pm      Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway & Appetizers


Thursday, April 6


12 – 6pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


6pm:  LaunchPad Information Night – Learn about the SmartZone’s Entrepreneurs Start-up Idea “Boot Camp” – Marquette Commons – 112 S. 3rd St. –

Do you have the next big idea? LaunchPad is one of the first steps that the Innovate Marquette SmartZone offers start-up founders and entrepreneurs in the way of an effective coaching program that can help take your ideas and work with you to turn those into a solid business opportunity.

LaunchPad provides the perfect setting for any entrepreneur or founder team to grow their ideas into a real business strategy and plan. Think of this as a start-up entrepreneurs “boot camp” where we take you beyond just books and theories, by providing a systematic “hands-on” approach to help “flush out” your idea utilizing certified business coaches as well as experienced professionals from within our community who act as your teachers and mentors. Entrepreneurs and founders will “learn by doing” — exploring the critical aspects of customer value proposition for your idea, marketing strategies, operational needs and the funding required to launch an idea and grow it into a business.
Join us for a 50 minute “no commitment” informational session about our coaching program on and how it can help you on Thursday evening April 6th from 6-6:50pm.


7pm      Peter Pless, NMU Arts & Design – Design Thinking: Problem Finding – Problem Solving –  Marquette Commons – 112 S. 3rd St.

Design has historically been perceived as a form giving process, however the current role of a designer has significantly changed in order to produce innovative and strategic solutions. With the integration of a creative research process, it is possible to find methods that are more suitable to the needs and desires to the customers that we provide services to.

6-8pm   Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway & Appetizers


Friday, April 7


12 – 6pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


Noon – 4pm  Presentation & Workshop – Jim Cederna, Lead like a Legend – Professional Development & Leadership Coaching – Ore Dock Brewing Company – 114 W. Spring St


6pm      Workshop – Chris Wahmhoff, Project Pegasus, SmartPrize 2016 Start-Up & Crowd Favorite Winner – Marquette Commons – 112 S. 3rd St.


7pm      Presenter – Jim CedernaChicken Soup for Growth – – Marquette Commons – 112 S. 3rd St. –


6-8pm    Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway & Appetizers


Saturday, April 8


12 – 4pm  Exhibits/Venues open to public – Vote for Crowd Favorite


4-6pm          Exhibit Take-Down


6 – 9pm    Exhibitor and Venue Reception – Delft Bistro – 139 W. Washington


Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway


Sunday, April 9


12 – 4pm  Competitor Interviews and Final Judging – University Center, NMU


3 – 5pm Networking Reception for all participants, attendees, volunteers


5-8pm   SmartPrize Awards Banquet and Celebration – Masonic Center – 128 W. Washington St. –


Earth Angels aerial performance with light show and music by Double Trouble DJs


Dinner catered by Elizabeth’s Chop House


Featured Speaker – Cathleen Francois, Executive Director of


Guest Host- Doug Garrison


Doncker’s Door Prize Giveaway


SmartPrize Awards Presentation



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