Husky Innovate

About Us

Husky Innovate is a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, and the College of Business. We are Michigan Tech’s resource hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. We offer workshops, competitions, NSF I-Corps training, panel talks, and the Silicon Valley Experience.  

Since 2015, we've worked to develop a campus where entrepreneurial spirit thrives throughout the community and across all disciplines.  

Our Mission

To harness the potential of the campus community to innovate, develop, and implement ideas and launch inventions by building and maintaining a strong and integrated ecosystem with a cohesive set of entrepreneurial and innovation resources to enable success.

Husky Innovate Team

Jim Baker

Jim Baker, Co-Director

Jim Baker, Ph.D, represents the Office of Innovation and Commercialization under the Vice President for Research at Michigan Tech. Jim has over 20 years of experience in early stage technology commercialization and in negotiating agreements with private companies, public funding agencies, and others related to research, development and commercialization. He is a Patent Agent with a license to prosecute patent applications in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is experienced in many aspects of intellectual property and proprietary protection. He has been part of startup technology companies in the healthcare, consumer products, technology development service sectors and is co-owner of an established small UP-based outdoor goods manufacturing company.


Lisa Casper

Lisa Casper, Program Manager

Lisa Casper, MBA, is the Program Manager for Husky Innovate  and a Pavlis Honors College pathway advisor for students.   Lisa is a member of the faculty team for the I-Corps program, a design thinking facilitator and innovation pathway mentor.   In her role as program manager, she curates and develops extra- curricular student programs such as pitch competitions, innovation and entrepreneurship workshops, hosts guest speakers and connects individuals with innovation resources.   She is a faculty champion for the University Innovation Fellows and a Faculty Innovation Fellow candidate with the Stanford d.school.  Lisa manages the Alley Makerspace team and works with student interns to develop their goals for maker experiences.   Lisa is researching makerspace team innovation as a graduate student with the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors department at Michigan Tech.


Jon Leinonen

Jon Leinonen, Co-Director

Jonathan, MBA, is a senior lecturer in the College of Business at Michigan Tech, working at the intersection of business education, economic development and community health. He fosters innovation through product development, marketing and financial strategies conducted through his teaching role with student-led projects, consulting with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and as a board member in various organizations. Jonathan is certified by NASBITE International and provides export assistance for UP companies.


Mary Raber

Mary Raber, Co-Director

Mary Raber, Ph.D, MBA, is a Professor of Practice at Michigan Technological University and enjoys her multiple roles as Assistant Dean for Academic Programs for the Pavlis Honors College, co-director of Husky Innovate (Michigan Tech’s resource hub for innovation & entrepreneurship), and most recently as Chief Doing Officer of IDEA hub (Michigan Tech’s collaborative working group for educational innovation). Mary is a design-thinking and innovation enthusiast and loves to help others embrace the tools and mindsets of innovation to effect positive change. After a 15-year career in the automotive industry, she joined Michigan Tech to lead the implementation and growth of the highly distinctive undergraduate Enterprise Program. Raber facilitates learning in leadership, human-centered design and lean start-up with a focus on engineering education. She is working on developing a start-up to help bring her passion for innovative teaching and learning to others.