If Marquette’s first annual SmartPrize sounds similar to that big art festival held in Grand Rapids every autumn, that’s because it is—with a twist. Instead of focusing on art, SmartPrize puts the spotlight on ideas and innovation.

“We were thinking, How can we draw attention to the fact that Marquette is a regional driver of entrepreneurship?” says Nicole Young, executive director of Travel Marquette. Entrepreneurs and innovators will compete for juried prizes by creating an “expression” of their idea or business to be displayed at various venues throughout downtown Marquette.

The 10-day competition from April 2 through April 11 will also feature the SmartSummit, a conference and networking opportunity for innovators and potential investors. Bring your big idea, vote for the Crowd Favorite category, or come just to connect with other bright minds.

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Photo(s) by SmartPrize