Local man invents and markets paint scrubber device with help of NMU

Ever come up with a neat homemade fix to one of those persistent household problems and then wondered why no one had done it before?
That's what Miles Parkkonen of Negaunee did, but he took it a step further, patenting his new invention and getting it to market with the help of Invent@NMU, Northern Michigan University's entrepreneurial program.
Parkkonen invented the Paint Scrubber in his own garage a few years ago--it's a little wooden tool with a ridged surface that easily removes paint from brushes, pads and rollers to clean them. The production model now available on store shelves is made of 100 percent recycled, environmentally friendly wood, and is moisture and rot-resistant.
"Miles had already completed a large amount of product development before coming to us," says Dave Ollila, Invent@NMU founding director. "He had produced a number of units ready for sale and obtained a patent. While the program is set up to help people from the concept stage on through market introduction, we are also able to take on projects mid-stream to help move things along. We still brought the Paint Brush Scrubber through the validation stage, so we could all be on the same page, but then quickly were able to start working on details."
Now the Paint Scrubber is available online for purchase and also at local stores Ace Hardware in Harvey, Marquette Wallpaper and Paint in Marquette, and Cattron's Lumber in Negaunee.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

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