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Updated: January 31, 2022

10 startups to vie for 'Greenlight Maine' glory in Season 7

Side by side portrait photos of two contestants Photos / Courtesy of subjects; Cherie Scott photo by Heidi Kirn Season 7 of “Greenlight Maine” will start with contestants Heather Kerner, left, and Cherie Scott in the first episode.

Out of more than 35 companies that applied to compete in the next edition of the "Greenlight Maine" TV business-pitch contest, 10 have been chosen for Season 7.

The season starts March 24, on Maine Public, and will run through mid-July. Taping starts Feb. 8. 

Two food entrepreneurs will kick off the first episode: Cherie Scott of Boothbay-based Mumbai to Maine LLC, which makes gourmet Indian simmer sauces; and Heather Kearner of the Good Crust, a Canaan-based maker of handmade frozen dough from stone-milled Maine grains.

"It was difficult for our judges because we had an outstanding turnout," Julene Gervais, the show's producer and host, told Mainebiz. She pointed to the strong applicant turnout as a good sign of the future of Maine's economy.

"As you can imagine, the comfort level of people making video pitches has greatly improved since the pandemic hit and 'Greenlight Maine' moved to a virtual platform," she said. "That's the silver lining."

The top three finishers will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

For Mumbai to Maine's Scott, participating in the series comes a year after she launched her product line, which she initially distributed to two local stores and expanded within months to 30 stores statewide.

"For me, it’s not about winning or losing the competition," she told Mainebiz. "I’m focused on enjoying the entrepreneurial journey and the talented network of thought leaders and mentors that have helped me build a successful brand and business along the way here in Maine. 'Greenlight Maine' is exactly the entrepreneurial engine I need right now to drive Mumbai to Maine into its next level of expansion and growth nationwide, to much success.”

Sharing a similar observation, Kerner said, "The opportunity to participate in 'Greenlight Maine' is an honor. As a company whose primary mission is to support both Maine's grain farmers as well as career opportunities for Mainers with unique needs, we appreciate the platform to tell the story of the Good Crust, and the impact we are making through pizza dough."

Food entrepreneurs also featured prominently in Season 6, when Rockland chocolate maker Bixby & Co. was crowned the winner. Kate McAleer's company now goes by the name Bixby Chocolate, and recently received national recognition in the 2021 Good Food Awards.

Contestant lineup for Season 7

  • Mumbai to Maine LLC, maker of gourmet Indian simmer sauces
  • The Good Crust, artisanal maker of frozen dough from 100% stone-milled Maine grains 
  • Ocean Farm Supply LLC, maker of an economic alternative to plastic for harvesting shellfish
  • Farm Drop, online marketplace to connect customers with local farmers year-round
  • Navi Tour, web platform and app for nature guides in Maine
  • NKENNE, language learning app dedicated to African languages
  • Rugged Seas, a social enterprise that recycles used fishermen's wading apparel into totes and other products
  • Maine Float LLC, designer, manufacturer and seller of novel products intended for open water applications and recreation  
  • Opbox, creator of mobile commercial structures for retail and other purposes
  • Hüga Heat, maker of heated seat cushions for outdoor use

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