Invent@NMU's entrepreneurial support is expanding beyond garage and start-up projects to corporate clients. Its latest client is the Marquette-based company, Easy Ice, a national ice subscription service.
John Mahlmeister, chief marketing officer for Easy Ice, approached Invent@NMU to explore how this new partnership can be mutually beneficial.
“We own and operate a nationwide fleet of ice-making equipment and we’re always developing innovative practices that can help make our operations more efficient,” Mahlmeister said. “We have a few good ideas, and we’re looking forward to the support Invent@NMU and its economic development partners will provide. Hopefully, these efforts will help us increase the efficiency and the profitability of our business.”
Easy Ice has about 6,000 customers in 47 states. Invent@NMU leverages trusted partner relationships and offers a network of subject matter expertise that can provide valuable insights and suggestions for all developmental pursuits.
“Partnership with Easy Ice is a great validation,” said David Ollila, founding director of Invent@NMU. “We have a nationwide company that trusts our system, our students and our staff to improve and enhance its critical business requirements. This effort speaks volumes to private-sector confidence in Invent@NMU, and the opportunity to empower students on their projects.”
Easy Ice Senior Vice President Bill Vajda said the company is very interested in helping the student employees develop their skills and is confident in how the partnership with Invent@NMU will serve the company’s short- and long-term goals.
“I think our students and local resources stand with the best in the world,” Vajda said. “At the end of the day, if you give these students a chance to show you what they can do, the inherent benefits of working with a group of fresh young minds will inevitably create exciting results.”
Invent@NMU specializes in helping people bring their concepts to market. Inventors, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators work hand in hand with clients to turn passions into processes. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/invent.