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May 11, 2018

Top Gun names finalists who’ll compete for $25K prize

About Top Gun

Top Gun is an annual program for competitively selected entrepreneurs that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings held in Portland, Orono, Lewiston /Auburn and Brunswick. Beginning with just a dozen entrepreneurs in Portland in 2009, Top Gun has now helped over 200 entrepreneurs across the state accelerate their businesses.

About Maine Center for Entrepreneurs

Established in 1997, Maine Center for Entrepreneurs' mission is to build and lead a community of growth-oriented businesses in Maine. It accomplishes that goal by providing the training, connections, coaching and mentors they need to commercialize and grow their ideas, products and services so that their companies will drive the growth of Maine's economy. Over its 20-year history, the organization has accelerated the growth of hundreds of businesses and established a mentor network of over 165 members. In 2017 alone, Maine Center for Entrepreneurs served 34 startup companies and six later-stage businesses seeking to scale-up and grow.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and its partners — the University of Maine, The Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council and Gulf of Maine Research Institute — named 10 winners of the 2018 Top Gun Program's semi-final pitch events.

Regional pitch events were held this week in Bangor, Brunswick, Lewiston/Auburn, and Portland. Participating entrepreneurs presented five-minute pitches to a panel of judges followed by a brief question-and-answer period. Scoring was based on presentation, innovation, scalability and feasibility. The top two finishers in each location will now move on to compete in the Top Gun Showcase on May 23 at the University of Southern Maine's Hannaford Hall for a $25,000 cash prize sponsored by the Maine Technology Institute.

The winners of the regional pitch competitions were:

  • Bangor: Radhakrishnan Jamadagni, Ai Steth; Rebeckah Perry, Queen City Arts.
  • Brunswick: Matthew Moretti, Bangs Island Mussels; Jonathan Turcotte, Glidden Point Oyster Co.
  • Lewiston/Auburn: Michele Gilfoil, Planet Botanicals; Stacy Moore, Healing Harbors.
  • Portland: Meghan Carey, co-amplify; Erica Schmitz, MyBodyModel.

"The entrepreneurs of the Top Gun 2018 class have been a remarkable group," said Laurie Johnson, Top Gun program manager. "It has been a pleasure to get to know these young companies and I look forward to seeing them shape the community of Maine's next innovators."

Read more

Portland startup wins $25K prize in Thursday's Top Gun Showcase finals

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