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January 30, 2020

44 Maine entrepreneurs to face off in this year's Top Gun contest

File Photo / Fred Field Amy Rowbottom, owner of Crooked Face Creamery in Skowhegan, is one of the 44 entrepreneurs participating in the 2020 Top Gun Program.

A total of 44 entrepreneurs throughout Maine will participate in this year’s Top Gun Program, the annual startup cultivation competition that culminates in a $25,000 prize.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs recently announced the 2020 Top Gun class, who were chosen in a rigorous process that included a written application and personal interviews. Partnering with the center are the University of Maine, the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Focus Maine, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College and Maine Center Ventures.

The Top Gun Program assists entrepreneurs in growing their businesses through structured classroom curriculum and in-depth mentoring. The program, which begins in early February, is followed by six regional business pitch-offs, where finalists are selected for the Top Gun Showcase event in May. The Showcase winner receives the $25,000 prize, sponsored by the Maine Technology Institute.

Since its launch in 2009, the Top Gun Program has helped more than 240 Maine entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies. Last year, the program assisted 46 participants.

The 2020 class and their regional sponsors are listed below.

Bangor (Regional Sponsor: First National Bank)

  • Bub ’n Mutha’s, John Fuhrman
  • Coffee Hound Coffee Co., Jennifer Litteral
  • Gel Hydration Technologies, Inc., Laura Lockwood
  • Let’s Go Bagz, Suzie Milkowich
  • TrustedRentr, Steven Doman & John Peters
  • Sign26, Daniel C. DeLuca & Nieves Perez Besu
  • Treadwell Corp., Gerald Collins

Brunswick – Craft Beverage Focus (Regional Sponsor: Bernstein Shur)

  • Blue Barren Distillery, Andrew Stewart
  • Heritage Seaweed, Josh Rogers
  • Lincoln & Main Inc., Thaddeus St. John
  • NU Brewery LLC, Russell Voss
  • The Whole Almond, Myranda McGowan

Brunswick – Aquaculture Focus (Regional Sponsors: Maine Aquaculture and Innovation Center and Maine Aquaculture Association)

  • Aphrodite Oysters, Krista Tripp
  • Butterfield Shellfish, Austin Donnelly and Keith Butterfield
  • Kaskolos Sea Vegetables, Theodore Willis
  • Maine Island Aquaculture LLC, Hannah Twombly and Connor O’Neil
  • Maine Ocean Farms, LLC, Tom Klodenski
  • Mere Point Oyster Co., Derek James Devereaux
  • Southern Maine Sea Farms, Phil Demers and Jessica Pinckney
  • Wayne Seafoods, Robert Mitchell

Lewiston/Auburn (Regional Sponsors: the cities of Lewiston and Auburn)

  • Binding Tales LLC, Hillary Dow
  • Caribbean Life Grocery, Sophia Bailey
  • Cooking to Gather, Kristina Slocum
  • Cosplay Convention Center, Benjamin Santos
  • Dog-a-holick, Laci Barnett
  • Journey, Carolyn Delaney
  • LiteracyTech Inc., Michelle DeBlois and Kathryn Lariviere
  • Yardduck, Mark Parker

Portland (Regional Sponsor: Preti Flaherty)

  • LAW Calibration, Louis Waterhouse
  • Lorraine’s Cakes LLC, Tyler Cote
  • Maine Casual LLC
  • Maine company (to remain anonymous)
  • Mumbai to Maine, Cherie Scott
  • Paramount Planet Product LLC, Ariadne Dimoulas & Claudia Lowd
  • Readiness Associates LLC, Mike Boardman
  • SeaME LLC, Mariah Curtis
  • Story Culture, Andrew Griswold
  • Transcapsule, Tobey Tozier
  • UNAR Labs, Hari Palani

Waterville (Regional Sponsor: Central Maine Growth Council)

  • BrightHer Way, Susan Hunter and Colleen Maguire
  • Candy Hollow, Jason and Lydia Stevens
  • Crooked Face Creamery, Amy Rowbottom
  • TreeFreeHeat, Dylan Veilleux
  • Trusted Estate Advisors, Scott Greeley

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