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May 19, 2017

Finalists named for Gorham Savings' $50K LaunchPad competition

File Photo / Tim Greenway
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Christopher Emmons, president and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank, the sponsor of the annual LaunchPad small business competition that awards $50,000 to the grand prize winner.

Gorham Savings Bank has selected five early-stage Maine businesses as finalists of its annual LaunchPad small business competition, with a $50,000 grand prize to be awarded to the winner.

The pitch competition will be held on June 6 at the University of Southern Maine's Hannaford Hall. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for a social gathering and the pitch competition starts at 5 p.m.

In front of a live audience, the five finalists will pitch their businesses to an independent panel of judges. Returning this year are LaunchPad judges WEX President and CEO Melissa Smith, Winxnet CEO and co-founder Chris Claudio and Michelle Neujahr, director of SMCC's Entrepreneurial Center.

New to LaunchPad this year, Gorham Savings Bank will introduce the Emerging Idea Award. This additional $10,000 grant prize will also include $10,000 of in-kind marketing, business development and public relations services from iBec Creative, Creative Imaging Group, Grove Marketing, Chris Philbrook and Provoke Consulting. The winner will be selected from the remaining applicants and announced at the live event.

Here are the finalists selected from an applicant pool of over 130 businesses:

  • Good To-Go in Kittery is the first line of all-natural dehydrated gourmet meals catering to active adventurers. Designed to vastly elevate the trail food experience, each meal is handmade by nationally-recognized chef Jennifer Scism, who once defeated Mario Batali on Food Network's Iron Chef.
  • Jellux in Saco produces innovative, impact-resistant, waterproof advanced marine and outdoor lighting for the average homeowner to install and enjoy year round. Its "plug and play" LED bands make the water glow under a dock or area around the deck or patio.
  • North Spore in Westbrook provides access to the mycological world through cultivation, education and innovation. The company produces gourmet mushrooms and spawn for both retail and commercial use. North Spore is striving to be a community hub for fungi enthusiasts: a place where people learn to love mushrooms and admire this often overlooked biological kingdom
  • STARC Systems in Brunswick is a modular, telescopic wall system that prevents debris and noise from disseminating throughout an occupied building during construction or renovation. STARC's temporary containment system helps companies maintain their brand, even during a renovation with a temporary containment system that looks like a finished product.
  • UniteGPS of Portland aims to elevate a different, and sometimes less pleasurable, outdoor experience — waiting for the school bus. Their transformational GPS solution, CrossWalk, solves the problems of parents and students not knowing just when the bus will arrive each day.

"Maine's economy is made up of thousands of small and innovative businesses," Christopher Emmons, president and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank, said in a news release. "We're constantly inspired by the success stories we hear from entrepreneurs. Not only do we want to see those numbers grow; we want to see more of those businesses succeed. The excitement around the competition only demonstrates the strength of entrepreneurship in Maine."

To register online for the live event go here.

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