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Announcing the Winners of the Idea Center Business Plan Competition

June 29, 2020

Northwood University is pleased to announce the winners of a student competition to repurpose the former Northwood Gallery in downtown Midland.

The newly conceived Northwood Idea enter, located at 102 E. Main St. in the heart of downtown, will be a place for experiential learning, artistic discovery, community events, unique retail opportunities, business development and a host of other enriching activities.

Students Tristan Korzelius and Jon Perrault were the winners of the student competition to develop a business plan for the Idea Center, and their proposal will begin to take shape as the facility opens this fall. A grand opening event has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.

“The creative energy that will blossom in the NU Idea Center will be a unique asset for both the University and the community,” said John Gustincic, who will lead the NU Idea Center in his role as director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise. “We had 42 students participate in the business plan competition, and every one of them had impressive proposals. The plan developed by Korzelius and Perrault simply blew us away. We couldn’t wait to get started making it a reality.”

The Idea Center will have three distinct spaces to encourage students, families, businesspeople, and the community to gather, work and create. The flexible space will be designed for public and private gatherings, artistic expression, retail sales, dining, conferences, and small events.

Each month, a Northwood student or community member will be selected as the Idea Center Artist in Residence, allowing the individual to showcase original work in the gallery area. In addition, a student or community member will be selected each month as the Entrepreneur in Residence, with the opportunity to showcase their business or professional work.

Korzelius and Perrault also developed branding, marketing concepts and cost estimates for the Idea Center. They received $2,500 as winners of the competition. Second place of $1,500, went to Amber Dietzel and Lance Johnson and third place of $1,000 went to Josh Vlisides, Carissa Wilcox, and Austin Ashley.

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