This year, Greenlight Maine has a new home on Maine Public Television. In addition to its original, Head-to-Head Series and its College Edition, Greenlight Maine is proud to announce Elevating Voices, a new series that celebrates minority-owned business owners. Descriptions and schedules for each portion of this season’s show are below.
Greenlight Maine’s regular program is a competitive reality television show that consists of 13 episodes featuring 26 contestants. Ranging from entrepreneurs to established businesses, contestants vie for cash prizes to take their products and services to the next level. Each episode features two companies who pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges who evaluate and ask questions about each contestant’s background and their plans for growth. The panelists share their supportive feedback and ideas with the contestants before casting their vote with host Julene Gervais.
Nov. 19, 2020
Mad Gabs vs. Zootility
Dec. 3, 2020
Blue Ox Malt vs. Eighteen Twenty Wines
Dec. 10, 2020
Herbal Revolution vs. True North Beauty
Dec. 17, 2020
Zen Bear Honey Tea vs. Box of Maine
Jan. 7, 2021
MugBuddy Cookies vs. Bixby and Co.
Jan. 14, 2021
American Unagi vs. Green Bait
Jan. 21, 2021
Planet Botanicals vs. Lobster Unlimited
Jan. 28, 2021
Maine Works vs. Transcapsule
Feb. 4, 2021
Wreaths for Hope vs. Boots2Roots
Feb. 11, 2021
Navigate ER vx. DavoTech
Feb. 18, 2021
Tip Whip vs. Chimani
Feb. 25, 2021
Shelter 7 vs. STARC Systems
March 4, 2021
Eagre Games vs. blueShift Aerospace
The highly acclaimed Greenlight Maine Collegiate Series enters its third season featuring student entrepreneurs from Maine’s top colleges and universities. The colleges best and brightest compete for three top cash prizes of $10K, $5K, and $2500. Encouraging Maine grads to build a business here helps grow Maine’s economy.
The motto of this series is, “Start here…Scale here…Stay here!”
College Edition Schedule
|Grill Guys vs Tree Free Heat||3/11||Colby vs. Thomas|
|The Cubby vs. Clique in Style||3/18||Colby vs. Husson|
|Bridge Networking vs Algee||3/25||UMaine vs. Colby|
|Move Free vs. Ready Set Return||4/1||COA vs. UNE|
|GEIONIS vs. SledTRX||4/8||Husson vs. Thomas|
|Momentum vs. Co-Parent Co-Op||4/15||Colby vs. UMaine|
Greenlight Maine begins a new series this year highlighting minority-owned businesses. Elevating Voices features 12 companies over 6 special episodes airing in March and April 2021. This is not a competition, but a feature program showcasing these businesses to elevate and support various ethnic backgrounds across our great state and the contributions they make to Maine’s economy. Participants receive a grant of $5,000 from Bangor Savings Bank, as well as visibility for their featured business.
DECONTIE & BROWN Designers, Bangor
Decontie & Brown is a jewelry and fashion studio that caters to the collector who appreciates the luxurious experience of inspired creations. Jason Brown and Donna Decontie-Brown are the driving force behind Decontie & Brown and have been creating for the past 20 years. This husband and wife team draws inspiration from their Penobscot tribal heritage and their experience in the luxury jewelry industry to create beautiful trendsetting designs with a Native American influence.
EBENEZER AKAPO Artist-Designer, Portland
Akapo’s jewelry is inspired after native symbols in Ghana of abundance, affluence, bravery, endurance, friendship, hope, loyalty, strength, supremacy of god, and unity. He trained as a fine jeweler in Ghana and Italy prior to moving to Maine where he attend the Maine College of Art where he studied sculpture, drawing, and painting rounding out his creative skill. Akapo earned his master’s in industrial design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. He donates 70 percent of the proceeds from his Emekor line of inexpensive earrings, made from recycled plastics, to ship, distribute, and install the pumps for needy families in Ghana. It’s his way of adding another layer of meaning to his work. Aside from jewelry, he also create tableware inspired by the same symbols.
C.LOVE COOKIE PROJECT Portland
C. Love Cookie Project was birthed out of Slevin’s love for pastry, culture, travel, and hearing peoples’ stories. The vision for the project was directly related to her experience working in a refugee camp in Greece two summers ago. Returning to Portland and doing regular baking felt empty to Slevin. Her love for the immigrant and refugee community became the driving force behind launching C. Love Cookie Project: a business that employs immigrants and where sales give back to immigrants. While she had a pastry background at bakeries in Chicago and Paris, she envisioned a baking operation that focused on cookies.
One year after launching the business, the C. Love team is comprised of five women (from Rwanda, Iraq, Canada, and the US), and has given back thousands of dollars to her partner organizations: Portland Adult Education, The Root Cellar Portland, and Way of Life Mission.
UP WITH COMMUNITY Nicola Chin, Lewiston
Up With Community (UWC) is a practice which helps individuals and teams grow through transformational experiences of their own power andlove; increasing their impact and orienting them towards creativity,equity and freedom. UWC designs tailored learning experiences through coaching, workshops and hands-on growth projects. They partner with social enterprises and community organizations in three types of projects: (1) Co-leading an organizational change project, (2) Building the capacity of leaders to develop and execute change projects within their team, and (3) Coaching individual leaders one-on-one.
About Nicola- Originally from Chicago, Nicola discovered community organizing as the writer, director and producer of a one-woman skit about Saul Alinksy in high school. She explored the foundations of social justice within the histories of the Polish and Indian communities which she is a part of. She served as regional field director for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a project of Community Change and co-founded the country’s second largest cell phone action network, authoring a definitive guide to online and offline organizing.
CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNITY SERVICES Portland
Cross Cultural Community Services is an organization run by women of color who provide cross cultural, multicultural training and coaching to organizations that want to become more knowledgeable about Maine’s growing refugee and immigrant community and people of color. They work and partners with schools, employers, health and mental health and juvenile justice organizations to educate them about the growing diversity in Maine and beyond. Cross Cultural Community Services presents cultural differences, strengths and resiliency of New Mainers and disenfranchised populations, family dynamics, including parent and child relationships, immigration, resettlement and asylum process. More specifically, they provide the following: (1) Bias, Diversity and Inclusion training, (2)Coaching and Mediation, (3) Cross Cultural Training, (4) Culture Awareness and Competency, (5) Cultural Broker Training, (6) The Refugee Resettlement and Asylee Process, and Acculturation, (7) Refugees and Education, Health and Mental Health and (8) Work Related Differences.
MUMBAI TO MAINE Cherie Scott, Boothbay
Cherie, originally from Mumbai, India, is a content creator who utilizes her platform to share everything from cultural appreciation, sharing the stories of Maine, and personal anecdotes. She has an extensive background in broadcasting and journalism. Cherie puts a big focus on dishes from India and loves to share her culture with others. During her senior year of college, Cherie interned on MSNBC’s top-rated primetime TV show, “Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann” where she was able to develop her production skills while working under some of the top producers and writers from MSNBC.
EMPANADA CLUB – Adrian Espinoza, Portland
Adrian Espinoza Garcia moved from Bolivia to Maine with his wife and quickly discovered that empanadas, the savory hand pies that were abundant in Bolivia, were practically impossible to find in Maine. He has begun reaching customers directly through sales at farmer’s markets, breweries and events, building up a following for his food. His carrot salsa, a tomato-free topping made of carrots, apple cider vinegar, peppers, and fresh herbs was such a hit that he began to package and sell it alongside the empanadas. He was also able to connect with local natural food stores and co-ops who carried the product on a trial basis. Buyers have since begun to place repeat orders, offering a pathway for future growth.
DEKO’S KUTZ BARBER SHOP Orland
Deko is a former mill worker in Bucksport and after the mill shutdown he had to reinvent himself and started a successful barber shop where he also gives free haircuts to those in need. He lives in Orland. No website but a FB page.
21 Schoolhouse Rd.
Orland, ME 04472
THOMAS DOUGLAS Law Firm, Westbrook
Thomas Douglas is an experienced litigator who has successfully argued cases in state and federal courts throughout Maine, including the Maine Supreme Court. Representative cases include general business disputes, intellectual property matters, wage and hour litigation, probate contests, residential and commercial construction cases, wrongful death and personal injury claims. He is known for his client-first approach to each and every case. Thomas started his career at a large firm in Boston and moved to Maine to practice with a mid-sized firm in Portland. In his spare time, Thomas is an avid writer, musician and long distance runner. Selected as an NESL “Super Lawyer” in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Selected as a “New England Rising Star” in business litigation in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Super Lawyers magazine. Peer-rated to be in the top 2.5% of qualifying lawyers in New England.
LITTLE JUBBA Wales
Somali Bantu Community Association Finds Dream Farm through the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons
The long standing dream for secure farmland is quickly becoming a reality for one group of immigrant farmers. In May, the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) and Agrarian Trust formed the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons (AC), a transformative new model for community-centered land tenure. This month, the Little Jubba Central Maine AC found their dream farm, 104 acres in nearby Wales, Maine.
The Little Jubba Central Maine AC gives the SBCA the opportunity to lease farmland in a 99-year rolling equitable lease, which in turn allows the community to transfer their prized agricultural skills, knowledge and traditions to future generations. Partner organization Agrarian Trust and the SBCA are now fundraising to make this farmland purchase possible by December 1st, 2020.
“For the last 30 years we have been refugees, moving through different towns in Somalia and living in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. For 30 years we have been looking for a place we can call home. Home in our community means a place that is safe and secure, where we can farm freely and where we can exercise our cultural traditions. Getting this property will check all the boxes and for the first time we have a place we call home.”
Muhidin Libah, Executive Director of SBCA