The Maine Technology Institute Board of Directors recently awarded $411,268 in new seed grants to startups around Maine. More than $50,000 of that funding went to six companies in the Portland area.
The Portland-area companies received a total of $66,500 in seed grant funding, which they matched with $273,229, according to a press release from MTI. MTI seed grants, offered three times a year with a maximum grant amount of $25,000, support early-stage research and development activities for entrepreneurs to bring new products to market, according to a press release.
Awards went to Portland-area companies in the biotechnology, environmental technology and information technology industries.
Butterfield Technologies LLC, Portland
Award: $25,000. Match: $46,524
Butterfield Technologies plans to commercialize and market its patented medical device, the Pleurabrade, used by cardiothoracic surgeons who perform pleurodesis procedures on the lungs. The company plans to develop a prototype of the device and perform live porcine lab testing, complete certain Federal Drug Administration submissions and develop marketing elements and a website. Inventors Keith and Kevin Butterfield matched MTI's grant with personal investment.
Sani Seat, Portland
Award: $8,000. Match: $8,000
The company will build, test and improve a working prototype of a pedal system that attaches to any toilet to lift and lower the seat without the use of one's hands. The goal of this project is to improve the cleanliness of public and private male restrooms. The company hopes to use the funding to develop a final design ready for mass production and commercialization.
J. Weston Walch, dba Walch Publishing, Portland
Award: $25,000. Match: $64,435
Walch Publishing is developing a cloud-based platform to expedite the process of authoring, managing, publishing and monetizing customized educational materials. The company plans to meet growing demand in public education for accessible resources that meet specific requirements. It plans to commercialize the platform this spring or summer.
Maine Marine Composites LLC, Portland
Award: $24,730. Match: $41,400
Maine Marine Composites is developing a sensor system to collect multi-point pressure data on large surfaces immersed in fluids. The company will design, build and field test a prototype of a large-area pressure array system. The system has applications in research and process control. The company will also develop a comprehensive marketing plan.
VetEnvoy Inc., Portland
Award: $21,000 Match: $28,600
VetEnvoy is developing a software hub used to connect veterinary clinics electronically with suppliers and other related businesses. It has also developed and commercialized protocols for transferring medical records and information through its software platform, and is looking to expand that protocol to the transfer of diagnostic images. The company will use the funding to determine the market and technical feasibility of telemedicine communications, develop a prototype and ultimately deploy a market-ready solution.
Howell MSI, Westbrook
Award: $12,500. Match: $84,270
Howell MSI is in its third phase of using proprietary photographic technology to create digital archives of cultural artifacts for scientific study, reproduction and proof of authenticity. It plans to complete the design of a device equipped with 15 color filters and two fixed light sources to photograph multispectral images of reflective media and artwork, including transparent negatives, slides and paintings.