Advanced Manufacturing Center at University of Maine
The Advanced Manufacturing Center is a world class manufacturing technology research center at UMaine that is available to industry and entrepreneurs. AMC assists with research, development, and commercialization of the latest manufacturing products and processes, and provides an advance engineering approach to solve a wide range of manufacturing problems, saving cost and time. AMC specializes in the following areas:product development and prototyping, 3D laser scanning and printing, CAD/CAM and CNC machining, product commercialization, process system design and integration, ongoing operational support and training, student intern training, and product evaluation.
Cultivator is Maine’s first Food, Beverage, and Agriculture Scale-up accelerator program. The Cultivator is focused on partnering with food, beverage and agriculture businesses to overcome the strategic challenges they face as they attempt to grow and scale. The Cultivator program is for food, beverage or agriculture companies who: have a proven value-added product and scalable business model; have achieved an annual revenue of $500k+ and are looking to grow and scale. The program provides participants with hands-on strategic assessments and planning sessions, tailored professional resources, and access to interactive development forums – all at an affordable cost. Cultivator is a program of MCE.
Foster Center for Student Innovation
The Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine was created as an incubator for knowledge-based business ventures that will lead to the creation of new Maine-based industries through University research and development. The Center provides free business coaching, incubator space for students, a minor and a certificate in Innovation Engineering, and manages the Innovate for Maine Fellows Program.
Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation
The Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation was created to provide a suite of resources and programming that individuals interested in taking their businesses to the next level can access. The Institute provides the platform from which instruction, training, events, mentoring and access to talent are all made available within the context of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Thomas College, 180 West River Rd, Waterville, ME 04901
Maine Accelerates Growth Initiative (MxG)
The Maine Accelerates Growth Initiative accelerates the growth of companies, communities, and talent by funding, creating, and leveraging high impact entrepreneurship and innovation programs and events through a collaborative and complementary network of organizations and individuals propelling prosperity across Maine.
Maine & Company
A private, non-profit corporation that provides free and confidential consulting services to businesses looking to locate in Maine or grow in Maine. Assists in identifying and packaging together programs for business expansion and relocation activities. These programs include state, regional, and local tax reimbursements, tax credits, sales tax exemptions, training, and financing resources.
120 Exchange St., Portland, ME 04101
Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center (MAIC)
MAIC sponsors and facilitates innovative research and development projects involving food, pharmaceuticals, and other products from sustainable aquatic systems; serves as a source of education and training; and encourages strategic alliances tasked with promoting research, technology transfer, and the commercialization of aquaculture research and manages several aquaculture business incubators in partnership with the University of Maine.
Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE)
MCE helps entrepreneurs reinvent the Maine economy by providing them with resources to build innovative world-class companies. Over the past 20 years, MCE has accelerated the growth of hundreds of companies, established the largest community of mentors in Maine, and offers training, advice, and connections. MCE’s programs include Top Gun (training & mentorship), Cultivator (food, beverage, and agriculture accelerator), workshop series, networking, and the Maine Mentor Network.
Maine Development Foundation (MDF)
The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the State of Maine. MDF stimulates new ideas, develops leaders, and provides common ground for solving problems and advancing issues. Programs include Leadership Maine and the ICL Leadership Intensive.
Maine Downtown Center (MDC)
The Maine Development Foundation’s Downtown Center serves as the state coordinator for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program. The Center’s mission is to advance preservation-based economic development in Maine downtowns.
Maine International Trade Center (MITC)
MITC’s goal is to expand the state’s economy through increased international trade. To that end, MITC offers one-on-one trade assistance and consulting to Maine businesses. Trade assistance covers a broad range of areas including foreign import regulations, tariffs, logistics, sourcing, and research reports on new markets. MITC also holds events around the state.
Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
Maine MEP is a unique resource for manufacturing and its supply chain in Maine. Maine MEP helps create opportunities for Maine’s small and medium sized manufacturers by helping them become more efficient, productive, and globally competitive. They are able to leverage a vast array of public and private resources and services that are available to every manufacturing enterprise in Maine.
Maine PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center)
Maine PTAC is part of a nationwide network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, or PTACs, working with Maine-based companies interested in selling their products and/or services to local, state or federal government agencies, as prime contractors or subcontractors.. Maine PTAC’s experienced counselors provide a wide range of services to assist clients to market to government agencies and government prime contractors.
EMDC Southwest, 403 Hallowell Rd., Pownal, ME 04069
EMDC Central 40 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401
NMDC North, 11 West Presque Isle Rd., Caribou, ME 04736
EMDC Midcoast, c/o TechPlace, 74 Orion St., Brunswick, ME 04011
SCEC Downeast, 7 Ames Way, Machias, ME 04654
Maine Quality Centers at Maine Community College System
The Maine Quality Centers provide customized workforce training grants for Maine
employers seeking to locate or expand their operations in Maine or who are interested in providing training to their incumbent workers. Training programs are coordinated and delivered through Maine’s seven community colleges, and the staff can help design a program that delivers the training when and where it is needed.
Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Maine SBDC helps build and strengthen Maine’s small businesses. Professional certified advisors offer a wide range of free workshops throughout the state. Advisors also provide free individualized, confidential assistance on a variety of topics to entrepreneurs at all stages to help start, manage, and grow Maine businesses. Offices across the state.
MaineStream Finance is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic development by providing credit, capital and financial services that are often unavailable from traditional financial institutions. They provide 1:1 advisory support, and loans to small businesses, personal finance, home loans, and business services to people in Maine who might otherwise have limited access to financing and credit.
Manufacturers Association of Maine
Comprised of over 300 companies and 100 students in Maine, Manufacturers Association of Maine serves its membership by providing education and workforce training, business growth services, cluster initiatives, legislative advocacy, scholarship programs, networking opportunities and industry partnerships.
The national SCORE Association is a not-for-profit organization with 300 chapters and 10,000 volunteer mentors throughout the United States. SCORE Maine’s 121 mentors provide free services at numerous locations across the state. SCORE offers free and low-cost business education workshops on a wide range of topics, from planning and financing to website and social media marketing.
Small Business Administration Maine (SBA)
The Maine District Office is responsible for the delivery of SBA’s many programs and services, including financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders, and free counseling, advice and information on starting, better operating or expanding a small business through SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Women’s Business Centers (WBC) Training. Bangor has been selected as the first location in Maine to deliver a U.S. Small Business Administration program geared to meet the needs of executives of small business poised for growth in emerging markets. The Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities. Small business owners selected for the free intensive program will receive up to 100 hours of classroom time and have opportunities to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with peers, local leaders and the financial community.
New Ventures Maine
A training, advocacy, and assistance organization providing free support, guidance, and the tools to build a career, start a business, manage finances, and develop community leadership. New Ventures Maine helps entrepreneurs assess the feasibility of their idea, put a plan together and map out a path to successful implementation. Satellite centers statewide.
Business Development for Refugees and Immigrants; StartSmart is a free business
development program that helps immigrants start or grow a business with expert advice regarding business concepts and plan, location choices, sources of financing, bookkeeping, marketing and advertising, financing, credit, loans, and legal and regulatory requirements.
The Top Gun program is designed to accelerate entrepreneurial development. The
statewide, five-month program, combines mentoring with high-impact weekly, regional gatherings. Top Gun classes are hosted in Portland, Orono, Rockland and Lewiston/Auburn. Top Gun is a program of MCE.
University of Maine’s Department of Food Science & Human
Nutrition and Cooperative Extension
The University of Maine’s Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Cooperative Extension work together to support many food-based industries in Maine. Help is available to farmers, processors, entrepreneurs, growers, small home-based food businesses, and Maine citizens. Services include access to experienced staff members and faculty, Pilot Plant facilities, a commercial scale kitchen, and the consumer Testing Center, plus assistance for starting small, home-based food businesses.
UpStart Maine is a non-profit bringing together all of the Bangor region’s entrepreneurial programs to support entrepreneurship from the earliest networking and idea formation stage through incubation and acceleration. It serves as a unified voice in promoting innovation-driven enterprise in the Greater Bangor Region, and does joint outreach, recruiting, and fundraising. Founding programs include Big Gig, a business pitch competition, Top Gun (Bangor), an entrepreneurial accelerator, ScratchPad, a smaller, more intensive seed accelerator, and the UpStart Center for Entrepreneurship, a business incubator for scaleable start-up companies.
The Women’s Business Center at CEI
The Women’s Business Center at CEI offers a comprehensive program of personalized
business advising, workshops, and events to support and advance entrepreneurs looking to start, manage, grow or finance a business. Advising services are free of charge and are offered in-person, over the phone, and online. Locations throughout the state.
Women Standing Together (WST)
WST is a supportive community for women entrepreneurs and leaders who are interested in growing professionally and finding a bolder voice. Women entrepreneurs can connect with a community who will support them in the growth of their business. Bi-monthly round table sessions provide feedback and referrals on an entrepreneur’s challenge.
Black Point Group
A private investment partnership focused on long term value creation via active involvement in public and private growth companies. The partnership seeks to leverage it’s operational and investment expertise in life science, technology, and other domains, including significant involvement in public service.
Blue Heron Capital $
Blue Heron Capital invests in small-cap growth equity companies in health care and tech-enabled business services. It includes a talented group of operating professionals with decades of experience building and managing companies.
CEI (Coastal Enterprises, Inc.) $
CEI provides loans and investments for small and medium sized businesses in Maine. CEI’s business advisors, located throughout the state, offer support and technical advising with targeted programs for women, refugees or immigrants, fishermen and sustainable agriculture.
Community Concepts Finance Corporation (CCFC) $
Through collaboration with a variety of public, nonprofit and public partners, CCFC acts as a catalyst for economic growth that contributes to the quality of life and overall prosperity of Oxford County’s business community and 36 municipalities. CCFC aims to empower entrepreneurs and businesses by providing access to capital and business development services that include counseling and educational programming. They invest in existing, as well as startup businesses, based on the quality of ideas and the capacity of the people behind those ideas. Capital is provided based on the strength of business plans, community impact, and the character of the individual in addition to conventional credit worthiness.
Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) $
The Finance Authority of Maine provides direct loans to businesses and access to innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and higher educational opportunities. FAME’s Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program is designed to encourage equity and near-equity investments in eligible Maine businesses, directly and through private venture capital funds. FAME may authorize state income tax credits to investors for up to 50% of the cash equity they provide to eligible Maine businesses. Investments may be used for fixed assets, research or working capital.
Libra Future Fund $
The Libra Future Fund was created to capitalize upon the energy and creativity that Maine’s young people embody and to combat youth out-migration by supporting initiatives that increase the number of Maine-based professional opportunities. Libra Future Fund awards grants to individuals to promote economic development or create job opportunities in Maine. In addition, projects should provide the applicant with substantial professional or educational experience. LFF also offers free office space for Maine start-ups for one year.
Maine Angels $
The Maine Angels are accredited private equity investors who help entrepreneurs by investing in and mentoring early stage companies. The goal of Maine Angels is to make 14 sound investments in promising New England entrepreneurs with an emphasis on Maine businesses. Bangor Angels is associated with Maine Angels but also raises its own funds.
Maine Community Foundation (MCF) $
Maine Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit that helps people invest charitable resources in the future of Maine. Given its place-based focus and commitment to activate resources to meet its mission, the Maine Community Foundation has added impact investments to its philanthropic toolbox. Impact investments are intended to generate targeted social benefit and a financial return.
50 Monument Square, 6th Floor, Portland, ME 04101
245 Main St., Ellsworth ME 04605
Maine Technology Institute (MTI) $
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is an industry-led, publicly funded, nonprofit corporation that offers early to late stage capital and commercialization assistance in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investments that help support the conversion of innovative research into new products, processes and companies, ultimately generating high-quality jobs across Maine.
Maine Venture Fund $
Maine’s venture capital fund, investing in Maine-based companies. The mission of the fund is to provide resources to attract, support, and help develop eligible small businesses with the potential for substantial growth and success that will contribute to the prosperity of Maine.
MaineStream Finance $
MaineStream Finance is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic development by providing credit, capital and financial services that are often unavailable from traditional financial institutions. They provide 1:1 advisory support, and loans to small businesses, personal finance, home loans, and business services to people in Maine who might otherwise have limited access to financing and credit.
North Atlantic Capital $
North Atlantic invests in scalable technology-based businesses which meet the following criteria: market-leading companies with $10-50 million in revenue that are poised for significant and sustainable growth that leverage technology to deliver products or services to businesses.
Slow Money Maine $
Slow Money Maine’s mission is to build a diverse network of individuals, philanthropists, businesses, nonprofits and government entities that are focused on investing in farms and fisheries, and the ecosystems that sustain them as a means of growing our local food systems, economies and communities statewide. Slow Money Maine is a chapter of Slow Money National. No Small Potatoes Investment Club strengthens Maine’s local food economy by making small loans to farms, fishermen and the food businesses they supply to help them thrive.
USDA Rural Development – Maine $
USDA Rural Development is a federal agency that invests between $350 million and
$450 million dollars each year in the state of Maine through its Housing, Community, and Business Programs. Through its Business Programs, the agency works with local lenders to provide loans for rural businesses and offers a variety of loan and grant programs for business development, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, value-added agricultural projects, community economic development and more, leading to job creation in Maine’s rural communities.
In the heart of downtown Bangor, Covort offers 24/7 access to members along with a conference room, coffee bar, and video/teleconferencing equipment. Monthly memberships also include quarterly happy hours, lunch and learn sessions, and discounts to local businesses.
Bangor Innovation Center
The Bangor Innovation Center is a business incubator designed to support small businesses during their start-up and early growth stages. The facility can accommodate manufacturers, distributers and business service companies for one month to two years after which the businesses “graduate” to other locations within the community. The Center operates in a 25,000 sq ft building at the Bangor International Airport Complex and features a loading dock and four overhead doors. Bangor Innovation Center is operated by BanAir Corporation, a non-profit development corporation whose mission is to encourage and manage development at Bangor International Airport and in the City of Bangor.
Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and is a full-time seed accelerator for startup companies focused exclusively on female founders. The 6 month program guides entrepreneurs through the early stages of business development to help women improve their chance of success.
Anchorspace is a coworking space in downtown Bar Harbor. It features monthly and daily desk rentals with high speed internet, stand/sit desks, kitchen facilities, and a 10-person conference room. 24/7 access for monthly members. 3-month membership scholarships may be available to women entrepreneurs courtesy of the YWCA MDI.
The Gem is a community-oriented facility featuring an independent movie theater, art gallery, and a coworking space. Monthly and daily memberships are available and there is a 16-seat conference room with a projector available.
TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator, supports the business development needs of early stage companies in a shared workspace. TechPlace gives entrepreneurs a place to network with others, research and develop ideas, build prototypes, test products, assemble, grow, and become successful manufacturing and technology companies.
Buzz Maine is a collaborative co-working space in Damariscotta designed to bring people together. The workspace features Herman Miller chairs, 4 work booths, full video conference facilities, and a view of the Damariscotta River. Open every day, Buzz Maine also features a cafe and cocktail hour six days a week.
Union River Center for Innovation
The Union River Center for Innovation is a startup incubator and coworking space,
located next to the Harbor Park on the Union River in Ellsworth. URCI offers business coaching, high speed internet access, workshops and seminars, modern equipment, and private offices. URCI also hosts the DREAM (Downeast Maine Regional Entrepreneurial Assistance Model) startup and small business workshop series.
Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR)
The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) has one of the most extensive facilities available to aquaculture businesses anywhere. The facilities are available both to established companies looking to diversify or test new ideas and also to those companies in the start up phase. Industry partners may want to use a few tanks for a few days or weeks to carry out specific trials or whole building for multi-year projects. The facilities can be used to test out processes and new products for aquaculture.
Maine Aquaculture Business Incubator (MABI)
MABI has over 11,500 SF of business incubation space where companies can start new aquaculture ventures. It is well suited for long-term demonstration projects, and is supplied with both fresh and salt water. MABI is jointly operated by CCAR, MTA, the Department of Industrial Cooperation and the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center.
CoLab Co-Working Space
CoLab offers small businesses and non-profits big office amenities with limited overhead.All members of the CoLab benefit from shared Wi-Fi, a professional color printer/copier, a mailing address, and access to meeting space.
MUNKA is a shared working space in the heart of Lewiston’s downtown. The space was designed to encourage collaboration and to provide a platform for community-building.With a variety of membership options, they provide the solution to your needs covering everything from monthly floating memberships to small private offices. Amenities 18 include 24 hour access, ergonomic task chairs, sit-to-stand desks, kitchenette, conference room with projector and screen, and a 78” curved display.
Upstart Center for Entrepreneurship
Upstart Center for Entrepreneurship is a 20,000 square foot facility that leases office space to a variety of different companies from one-person start-up to the larger 8-10 person company. Coaching services and support are provided to entrepreneurs in order to build competitive market-oriented companies.
Cloudport CoWorking MultiSpace is a unique networking environment where deals are
made and relationships are built. Concierge and amenities including glass front private offices, multi functional work space, meticulously designed conference rooms, spacious event venues, and a kitchen and bar area allow the ability to be dynamic, provide fun and exciting events for members, while embodying an attention to detail that radiates throughout the community.
coworkHERS is a shared workspace and social club designed to support female professionals. Though described as “female-focused”, coworkHERS welcomes all people who wish to be a part of a safe, inspiring, encouraging, non-threatening, healthy, non-judgemental environment. coworkHERS brings female entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals together in a space designed for them to collaborate and prosper.
Engine Room is an open concept, small business creative office space in Portland, Maine where energy happens and ideas thrive.
Fork Food Lab
Fork Food Lab is a shared kitchen and tasting room with full and part-time memberships available. The space includes a 5,000 square foot kitchen with high quality cooking equipment and ample storage. Facility rentals, community, and private events are also held here.
Maine Business Center
Maine Business Center provides innovative solutions for both small and large businesses,frequent travelers and home-based businesses. Maine Business Center’s services allowbusinesses to enhance flexibility, yet at the same time increase profitability. Short and long-term office space, conference space, and virtual office services are available.
PelotonLabs is a coworking community in the West End of Portland, Maine providing
comfortable work space, engaging connections, and support for independent professionals. Peloton offers flexible memberships, 24/7 access to space for quiet work, meeting with clients, making phone calls, and hosting workshops and networking events. Peloton encourages growth through events, peer consulting, a welcoming environment and collaborative culture.
Pineland Venture Hub
Libra Future Fund offers free office/co-working space to Maine startups for terms of up to one year. Located at the Pineland Farms campus in New Gloucester, Maine, amenities include internet, WiFi, and landline communications, printing and copying capability, use of Conference Center meeting space, Pineland Farms trail passes and free coffee at the Pineland Market.
LocalHost is an easygoing, affordable & professional coworking space located in the iconic Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook. LocalHost is located in an 1,800 square foot suite that overlooks the Saccarrapa Falls. The suite’s tall windows, fifteen-foot ceilings and exposed beams make it the ideal place to be productive and creative.
Think Tank Coworking
Think Tank is Northern New England’s largest coworking network. Think Tank is home to many dozens of small businesses, remote workers and a legion of talented entrepreneurs. Art and light-filled facilities give members a fun and productive place to think and work. Members have 24 hour coded access to private offices, dedicated work stations, common desks, stylish lounges, conference rooms and phone booths. Think Tank is also 20 a venue space, hosting all kinds of cool programming for the greater community and the start-up scene.
Steel House is a center for design, technology, and educational programs. Members share co-working space and represent a range of disciplines and backgrounds that include programming, software development, industrial design, printmaking, photography, and fine art.
Sopoco.works is a creative coworking studio in South Portland Maine that offers a casual modern office space to create, kick around ideas, and just get work done. Amenities include a kitchen, conference room, office equipment and supplies, a server farm, and virtual reality gear.
Darling Marine Center’s Aquaculture Business Incubator
The Darling Marine Center’s Aquaculture Business Incubator features two 600 square foot lab/culture spaces adjacent to the Flowing Seawater Laboratory. Furthermore, office spaces are available in the Marine Culture Laboratory which also houses the SeaCaps®algal culture facility. Industry partners may want to use a few tanks for a few days or weeks to carry out specific trials or a whole building for multi-year projects.
Aside from being superb sources of published information of all kinds, libraries offer a
variety of other free and low-cost services such as internet connectivity, expert research
support provided by library staff, and printing and copying services. Libraries can be 21 excellent starting places for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about a specific community while working in a comfortable, connected environment. There are many libraries in Maine, however the two below are particularly well-staffed and oriented toward business-minded patrons.
Maine State Library
The Maine State Library, which is a part of the capitol complex in Augusta, provides a variety of resources from media transferring services to a MakerBot 3D printer. The MSL is a hub that not only provides access to other library resources in Maine and typical services like computer access and printing, but also houses comprehensive databases and rare books and records that are unique to its collection.
Portland Public Library Business Resources
The Portland Public Library provides reference services and library resources to help Portland area businesses succeed. The Library provides access to business resources (both online and in print) including high quality sample business plans, industry analysis,up to date trends, financial ratios, consumer spending patterns, demographics, robust tools to create sales leads, marketing and branding materials and more. The library also provides training opportunities, programs and the opportunity to meet with a librarian to discuss your information needs.
2 Degrees Portland
2 Degrees Portland is a network of people who want to sustain and grow the city’s economy by welcoming creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers to the area — a sort of 21st century welcome wagon. 2 Degrees Portland is a program of Creative Portland.
Association of Consulting Expertise (ACE)
The Association of Consulting Expertise, a non-profit association of independent consultants, provides a collaborative environment that promotes the professional and business development of its diverse membership through education, resources, and client connections. The objectives of the Association are to promote ethical consulting, encourage professional development of consultants, and promote business opportunities for its members.
Black Artist Forum
Black Artist Forum is a new advocacy/networking/skills development group for Black artists in Maine. Resources include a series of development events for Black entrepreneurs, creative artists, gallery owners, and arts-oriented community members.
BAF, The Third Place, 47 Portland St. 2nd Flr., Portland, ME 04101
Creative Portland is a nonprofit organization that leverages, grows and sustains Portland’s creative industries, enterprises and workforce. As the City’s official local arts agency, Creative Portland also pays particular attention to supporting the artists and cultural institutions that are central to Portland’s identity, economy and community.
The Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) is the state’s leading energy, environmental and clean technology business & economic development organization acting as catalyst, a change agent and a resource center to promote Maine companies; support their robust and sustainable acceleration; and help them compete in national and international markets.
Cloudport, 63 Federal St., Portland, ME 04101 (physical)
PO Box 8517, Portland, ME,04104 (mailing)
Envision Maine is a grassroots organization that works to convene people around the state to focus on critical issues that are shaping Maine’s future. The organization focuses on how to grow Maine’s next economy in a way that preserves our small town and small business character. It also works to build public and political support for the state’s innovators and entrepreneurs.
Local Chambers of Commerce
There are more than seventy local chambers of commerce in the state of Maine and all of them are valuable resources of knowledge, networking, and opportunities. Benefits of membership differ by area.. A full list is available at mainechamber.org.
Maine BioScience/Bioscience Association of Maine (BAM)
Maine BioScience, or the Bioscience Association of Maine (BAM), is a membership
organization devoted to building and accelerating biotech and medical device industry, research and education in Maine. Maine BioScience is the lead organization for the bioscience community in the state, representing Maine’s largest employers, emerging startups, universities, research institutions, service companies, students, and individuals.
Maine Center for Creativity (MECC)
The Maine Center for Creativity’s mission is to create projects and programs that promote the arts and stimulate the growth of Maine’s creative industries and professions through projects, networking and creating connections.
Maine Entrepreneurs LinkedIn Group
Maine Entrepreneurs is a LinkedIn group for entrepreneurs and business owners living and/or working in Maine. This is a private group, access will be granted upon request and review by the group owner.
The Maine Food Strategy
The Maine Food Strategy is an initiative to create a broader and more strongly connected network of organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals contributing to the food system in Maine. The initiative is working to advance statewide goals that support a robust and sustainable food economy in Maine.
Maine Women’s Network
Maine Women’s Network is a statewide, non-profit organization providing valuable
education through monthly networking meetings and annual statewide events with
high-caliber speakers and meaningful networking opportunities. Chapters in Portland,Androscoggin and Midcoast.
MeetUp requires free registration – there are local groups on everything from design to WordPress to Open Bench Project to other software issues, that offer good networking as well as practical skills development for tech folks.
Startup Portland is a community of entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and creative misfits who love building scalable companies in Portland, Maine.
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce supports individual, community, and business growth by offering advocacy, educational opportunities, and valuable networking in an effort to promote regional prosperity.
Realize Maine Network
The Realize Maine Network is a coalition of Maine-based organizations working together to retain and attract young people to Maine, empower them to reach their greatest career and civic potentials, and create opportunities to keep them living, working, and thriving 24 in Maine. The network engages over 4,000 Mainers between age 20 and 40 from York to Presque Isle. Currently, the network is made up of the following regional groups: Cynergy (Augusta area), FusionBangor (Bangor area), KV Connect (Waterville area), Midcoast Edge (Brunswick area), Midcoast Magnet (Camden, Rockland, Belfast area), Propel Portland (Portland area), Spark (Lincoln County), Synergize Sanford (Sanford area), and UpliftLA (Lewiston-Auburn area).
Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) $
The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) is a regional planning agency serving the Western Maine communities of Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties. AVCOG is a not for profit, 501c3 agency, exclusively owned and operated by member communities. AVCOG provides business financing through direct lending programs, business advising through the Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and customized training opportunities and technical support to manufacturers through the Manufactures Extension Partnership (MEP) and procurement assistance through the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). AVCOG also provides assistance to targeted industries, tourism promotion, and strategic planning for local economic and community development.
Maine Rural Development Authority (MRDA) $
The Maine Rural Development Authority was established to assist Maine communities in realizing their economic development goals. MRDA provides financial assistance to communities and their development partners to help develop speculative commercial and industrial buildings and to help develop/redevelop underutilized commercial industrial properties. MRDA can act as a lender or investor where economic needs are not supported by private investment.
Biddeford Saco Area Economic Development Corp (BSAEDC) $
The Biddeford Saco Area Economic Development Corporation helps businesses, large or small, by providing gap financing for projects that require cash, fixed asset financing, start-up and working capital and real estate acquisition and development. BSAEDC acts as a clearinghouse for local, state and federal business assistance programs, job training and capital attraction. BSAEDC also provides technical assistance through the Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to businesses seeking to obtain financial assistance for the purpose of starting, locating or expanding in York County.
City of Portland $
Portland’s Economic Development Department provides comprehensive assistance to
businesses at every stage of development and growth, whether just starting up, expanding or relocating to the City. Services are designed to streamline doing business in 25 Portland and are free and confidential. The City also offers a direct loan program for gap financing and for businesses that cannot access conventional financing.
Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) $
A regional economic development corporation providing business services including business finance, planning, networking and workshops, and on the job training. Business financing and workshops are held statewide. EDA planning and community development planning is focused in the region of Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and a portion of Waldo County. Workforce Development programs are provided in Penobscot, Piscatquis and Hancock Counties. EMDC provides financing for businesses throughout the state of Maine.
Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) $
GPCOG provides a variety of planning and support services to assist the region with Community and Economic Development needs. Included are the following: project development for facilities and infrastructure in Greater Portland and the Sebago Lakes region, business assistance in Cumberland County, particularly in the Food and Energy clusters, brownfields assessment and cleanup program, energy efficiency for rural small businesses, and gap financing of up to $250,000 for small businesses.
Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) $
KVCOG is a municipal services corporation owned and operated by and for the benefit of its members. Through affiliations with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Maine Small Business Development Center, the Maine Manufacturers Extension Partnership and the Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center,KVCOG packages a portfolio of state business attraction and technical assistance and counseling programs designed to retain and attract firms able to create jobs.
Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission
LCRPC staff provides support to meeting economic and community goals including increasing employment and income by helping to take projects from concept to implementation, by bringing in key resources, with grant preparation and administration, and with coordination and advocacy with state and federal officials. Major partners include the Midcoast Economic Development District, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the State Community Development Block Grant program, and the federal Economic Development Administration.
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
DECD is a group of more than two dozen experts whose broad mission is to help communities and businesses prosper through a variety of programs—including the Business Answers program and a permitting and licensing assistant—providing everything from targeted tax relief to community block grants to tourism marketing. The Govenor’s Account Executive team at DECD works directly with businesses to determine their needs and connect them with the resources that can help them start up, grow, or relocate in Maine. DECD matches business needs such as site location, funding, marketing & workforce development with targeted resources.
Midcoast Economic Development District (MCEDD)
The Midcoast Economic Development District (MCEDD) is a municipally lead economic
and community development organization. MCEDD serves all of Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox Counties, the towns of Brunswick and Harpswell in Cumberland County and the towns of Lincolnville, Searsmont, Belmont and Northport in Waldo County.
Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA)
The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) is a public municipal corporation by State law (not a local unit of government) established by the Maine State Legislature to implement the Reuse Master Plans for both Naval Air Station Brunswick and Topsham’s Annex as they have been set forth by both the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority and the Topsham Local Redevelopment Authority.
15 Terminal Rd., Suite 200, Brunswick, ME 04011
Northern Maine Development Commission $
Northern Maine Development Commission is a membership organization comprised of
participating communities and counties in the Northern Maine Economic Development
District. NMDC serves the northern Maine region with effective regional community planning and economic development and provides federal and state services at the regionaland local levels.
Pine Tree Development Zones
The Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) program is a program of the Maine State Government that offers eligible businesses the chance to greatly reduce or virtually eliminate state taxes for up to ten years when they create new, quality jobs in certain business sectors or move existing jobs in those sectors to Maine.
Piscataquis County Economic Development Council
PCEDC seeks to leverage local, county, state, and federal resources to promote and encourage private and public investment within Piscataquis County. The goal is to simulate long-term sustainable economic development and growth in the region. PCEDC is available to assist in directing to appropriate resources, liason with other agencies, or assist with business relocation to Piscataquis County.
Scarborough Economic Development Corporation
The Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) supports economic and
business development to improve the quality of life in Scarborough by expanding the town’s tax and employment base. SEDCO provides assistance to businesses in Scarborough including information about federal and state financial programs, commercial lenders,and non-profit and for-profit resources which can help provide funding for starting or growing a business.
PO Box 550, Scarborough,
ME 04070 (mailing)
360 Route One, Suite 204, Scarborough, ME 04074 (physical)
Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC)
The primary mission of the Economic Development Administration at SMPDC is to assist in strengthening local and regional economies in partnership with municipalities and the County Government. Some of this work is completed solely within the organization and a significant amount of it is completed through local, regional, state and federal partnerships.
Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) $
The Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) initiates and facilitates the creation of jobs and prosperity in Washington County, Maine by working with a consortium of community- minded businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and citizens.
Big Gig is a partnership amongst a group of municipalities, universities, and organizations in the Penobscot River Valley. Big Gig events are held every other month and include networking, a pitch-off between three innovators/entrepreneurs competing for a cash prize, and an experienced innovator/entrepreneur discussing how they’ve successfully pitched a product or service.
Bobcat Ventures – Bates College
Bobcat Ventures provides a space at Bates where entrepreneurship can thrive. The goal of this competition is to build a bridge between Bates College’s liberal arts education with the expanding industry of entrepreneurship in order to put theory into application. Bobcat Ventures is the start to creating a campus culture of entrepreneurship and fostering creativity at Bates.
Bates College, 2 Andrews Lane, Lewiston, ME 04240
Design Portland is a serties of monthly meet-ups in Portland centered on Design Thinking. Participants can learn and practice design thinking in a casual setting with other people who are stoked to learn, imagine and create. Design Portland is an effort to build a community that practices human-centered design.
Downeast Business Conference
The Downeast Business Conference is an annual regional conference on small business and entrepreneurship taking place in November.
The Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) holds an annual
one-day conference with national, regional, and state leaders in the energy, environmental, and clean technology sectors. The theme of the Expo changes from year to year, but the content and networking are relevant to Maine’s innovation and entrepreneurial community.
Entrepreneurial Expo – Colby College
Entrepreneurial Expo is a daylong event open to the public with a speaker series featuring alumni VCs and entrepreneurs, members of the Maine entrepreneurial ecosystem, and former pitch competition winners, capped by our annual student business pitch competition.
Colby College, 4000 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901
Envision Maine Summit
Envision Maine is a grassroots organization that works to convene people around
the state to focus on critical issues that are shaping Maine’s future. The organization primarily focuses on how to grow Maine’s next economy in a way that preserves our small town and small business character. It also works to build public and political support for the state’s innovators and entrepreneurs.
Greenlight Maine is a statewide collaboration of entrepreneurial catalysts and corporate leaders, designed to promote and mentor the development and growth of business in our great state. Broadcast on NBC, GreenLight Maine airs from January to June, with the winner receiving $100,000 to advance their company.
GrowSmart Maine Annual Summit
GrowSmart Maine’s vision is to build lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine. The Summit offers the opportunity to be a part of the transformative change in Maine that these gatherings produce. Attendees are inspired to consider the value of being actively involved in growing Maine’s economy and protecting the reasons we choose to live here. Each fall the Summit takes place in a featured community and explores fresh and relevant issues for Maine.
LaunchPad (Gorham Savings Bank)
Gorham Savings Bank’s LaunchPad program helps fund the growth of early-stage
Maine businesses by providing the resources needed for them to reach the next level. Finalists are selected from an applicant pool to pitch to a panel of judges in front of a live audience to compete for a $50,000 grant. The online entry form opens March and the live LaunchPad event takes place in June at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall.
A day to hear tales of grit and accomplishment from inspiring Mainers; entrepreneurs, artists, business leaders, and thinkers from the state. Occurs twice a year in September and March. Online archives at www.themainemag.com/maine-live/
MEREDA (Maine Real Estate & Development Association) Real
Estate Forecast Conference
MEREDA’s annual Real Estate Forecast Conference is geared towards developers, brokers, architects, and other commercial real estate professionals. It is a valuable opportunity to learn about emerging trends across the state. The Conference takes place every January.
Startup Maine is an all-volunteer run organization, and a conference held annually in June. Startup Maine welcomes both “startups” (innovative and high-growth teams, regardless of the size or age of the company) and “creators” (anybody in the business of making things, from physical to digital), and provide an intimate, cutting-edge content, opportunities for applied learning, and the potential for plenty of collaborative collisions.
PopTech is a global community of innovators who are working together to expand the edge of change, and come together in Camden each fall.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together in the spirit of ideas worth spreading. TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. In the same spirit of the state motto, TEDxDirigo leads the way with ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change makers. TEDxDirigo takes place in November.