SmartPrize 2017 Announces Keynote Speaker


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Marquette, MI – Travel Marquette has announced that Cathleen Francois will serve as the keynote speaker during the SmartPrize award banquet on Sunday, April 9, 2017. As the Executive Director of, Francois knows not only how to network but the importance of the inclusion of enthusiasm and passion when following and accomplishing dreams. Her message and story will help to inspire the inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs attending SmartPrize. 

As the Executive Director of, Francois formulates the links between the hundreds of government, educational, and non-profit organizations, corporations, and business connections within Metro Detroit through public relations, marketing strategy, media and events. Her mission is to bring people to a place inside of themselves that yearns for continued expansion, both in business and in balance with the rest of their lives by creating simple, effective and evocative ways to uncover their dream and inspire the confidence they need to go after it with joy and inner peace. Cathleen’s most exciting venture to date is as co-founder of a patent-pending technology that will eradicate the dysfunction of the current clean water infrastructure and hopes to be licensing the production of it within the year.

Best described as Science Fair meets Shark Tank, SmartPrize is a unique business competition designed to build awareness and promote entrepreneurial spirit. The ten-day event takes place March 31 through April 9 throughout downtown Marquette. During this time innovators and entrepreneurial competitors vie for over $30,000 in prizes including a Crowd Favorite Award. For additional information on SmartPrize, including how to register and sponsorship opportunities, visit, or call 906-228-7749.

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