Alumni-Owned Small Business Among State's Best

From left: Troy Morris, Austin Morris and Adam Kall

A company formed by three Northern Michigan University alumni that is focused on keeping space clear of orbital debris has earned its second straight Michigan Best Small Business award. Marquette-based Kall Morris Inc. (KMI) will be among the honorees at the 19th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala on May 2 in East Lansing.

KMI was established by Adam Kall, director of technology, a 2018 NMU math and computer science graduate with a master's in data science; Austin Morris, director of engineering, who earned a mechanical engineering technology degree in 2018; and Troy Morris, director of operations, a 2016 psychology/behavior analysis graduate.

The company is focused on Active Debris Removal (ADR) for keeping space clear for all. It aims for a commercial viable system for ADR of legacy assets, which include significant debris objects often unrepared, uncontrolled and potentially unrecognizable. KMI is noted for multiple U.S. Space Force contracts and an upcoming ISS mission of their technology.

“With our Marquette office and workshop undergoing construction, our ISS experiment in the works, and with ongoing investment from across the state, country, and world, our mission continues to gather support everywhere we turn, because some many see the benefit in #KeepingSpaceClearForAll,” said Troy Morris in a press release.

“The co-founders of KMI came back to Michigan because we recognize the inherent benefits to living and working here, so it's delightful to be recognized again by Michigan for giving benefits back to the state. Our work is focused on space services, but it's all to protect what we enjoy here on the ground.”

The NMU alumni trio previously won the $10,000 grand prize in a 2021 virtual pitch competition for research on aerospace technology organized by the Center on Rural Innovation and its sister organization, Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. Ten startups were represented in the competition.

KMI and other award recipients will be recognized in person at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, with about 800 guests in attendance.

Companies nominated for the Best Small Business Award must be Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)—the category KMI falls into—Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), or SmartZone headquartered in Michigan. Awardees are selected based on the following: demonstrated growth as a small business; embodiment of the American entrepreneurial spirit; and strength of the relationship with the SBDC, PTAC or SmartZone.

Read a 2021 NMU alumni magazine in-depth feature on the KMI founders, title Space Rangers, here.

Prepared By

Kristi Evans
News Director

Categories: Alumni, Around NMU