New regional brand initiative, “Innovation Shore”, seeks input from the local STEM community.

HOUGHTON, MI (December 13, 2017) Michigan Technological University is taking the lead on a region-wide community brand project and seeks input from people working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The purpose of this new brand, Innovation Shore, is to position the community as a high-tech region to attract STEM-related talent and business to the Upper Peninsula. The survey takes about five minutes and can be accessed at It will close on January 20.

“There is incredible innovation happening throughout our region — we just haven’t done a great job telling the world our story yet,” explains Karyn Olsson, CEO of Marketing Department, Inc., the agency hired to guide the branding process. “The survey results will provide us with ideas and inspire stories of the talented people who work and learn in STEM fields while highlighting our tech companies and university research.”

Once the survey has been completed, the initiative will convene a small local group of people who work in STEM-related companies or universities to provide input as the brand develops. The branding work is expected to be completed and launched early in the summer of 2018.

Ian Repp, Director of University Marketing and Communications at Michigan Tech encourages employees, managers, students and business owners who work in STEM fields and live in the Upper Peninsula to respond to the short survey. “We’re looking forward to the development and implementation of a strong community-driven brand that will promote the stories of innovation throughout our community. The survey results will help Marketing Department Inc. position our region as a viable place for entrepreneurs and STEM-related businesses.”

To learn more about the project, the community is encouraged to attend the next Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) monthly meeting where representatives from Michigan Tech will present the project and some preliminary results from the survey. That meeting will be held at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center at 7:30 am on January 10.

About funding for this project

This project is made possible by a grant from Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP), a program funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, which is administered through University of Michigan.


Media Contact

Karyn Olsson, CEO

Upper Peninsula Marketing Department Inc.

(906) 483 – 2000


About Marketing Department Inc.

Upper Peninsula Marketing Department Inc. (MDI) is a full-service woman-owned agency located on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. MDI works closely with advanced manufactures and tech companies in the region who are looking to increase market share, find new markets or recharge their brand. The model and process is proven with a 10-year track record of growing companies.

MDI is also very active with many economic development projects and understands the strategies need to strengthen the Upper Peninsula economy.