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Updated: October 30, 2023

Four entrepreneurs to pitch in Skowhegan business lab competition

people sitting at table and in chairs Courtesy / Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship The spring pitch contest, sponsored by Skowhegan Savings Bank, had eight competitors. Casey Morgan of Morgan Camp Care took home the $5,000 prize.

Maine’s startup ecosystem continues to grow. This week, four entrepreneurs will compete for a $5,000 prize during a pitch competition coordinated by the Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship, a program of Main Street Skowhegan.

The event is a culmination of Main Street Skowhegan's eight-week business lab program. The prize will come from the Maine Technology Institute.

The contenders are the center’s third cohort in the business lab, which started in the fall of 2022, Main Street Skowhegan President and CEO and Kristina Cannon told Mainebiz.

The competition will be streamed live from the Main Street Skowhegan Facebook page.

Opera, IT, imprint, food

Lyn Govoni will present a concept called “Lights Up” Productions as a future nonprofit designed to revitalize the historic Skowhegan Opera House as Somerset County’s destination for arts and entertainment. The goal is to provide residents and tourists with “a place to watch” and to reinforce Skowhegan’s cultural vitality and economic growth.

Austin Wickett has a startup called Bytesum Technologies, an information technology services company specializing in computer repair, network services and IT-related education training. Wickett said he provides comprehensive IT solutions to residential homes and small and medium-sized businesses to help them leverage technology to achieve their needs. 

Kim Smith is the founder and owner of Unbelievable Freedom LLC, which is a specialty imprint for personal enrichment books. In 2018, Smith co-authored, with Ryan Smith, a self-help book called “Unbelievable Freedom: How We Transformed Our Health and Happiness with Intermittent Fasting.”

Louis Morin has a startup called Franco Foods LLC, which seeks to bring the taste of Quebec to Maine by offering traditional French-Canadian fare with no additives or preservatives. 

Spring cohort

The 2023 spring cohort consisted of the following businesses:

  • The Barn at Loon Cove, a restored 1800s post-and-beam barn designed to be a new event venue in Skowhegan. 
  • Sitting Bears Smoothies, using 100% fresh and organic ingredients to make smoothies.
  • Invertebration LLC, an insect farm in central Maine offering mealworms raised on organic and locally-grown grains and produce as pet and poultry feed.
  • You Travel & Teach, a small company offering immersive English teaching experiences around the world.
  • The Horse Barn, in central Maine, offering horseback riding opportunities for all levels.
  • Clark’s Detailing & Customs, a certified professional auto detailing business. 
  • Bare Bones Handsewn, a revival of traditional handsewn shoemaking. 
  • WorthIt Nature and Forest Connections provides ecotherapy experiences that include nature immersion, meditation and forest bathing.
  • Morgan Camp Care provides four-season caretaking services for recreational properties in the central and western foothills.

Morgan Camp Care won the $5,000 pitch competition.

Building business

The goal of the Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship is to cultivate a strengthened business ecosystem by providing an innovative space, resources and assistance to help educate and empower entrepreneurs in building prosperous businesses.

The business lab is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs put their ideas to paper and for existing entrepreneurs looking to evaluate a new idea or apply a structured system to their growing business. It covers the essentials of business strategy, finance and profitability, marketing and sales, business planning, and project implementation.

The pitch competition is scheduled for Nov. 1, 5-7:30 p.m., at Joe's Flat Iron Cafe, 65 Water St. in downtown Skowhegan. There will be food and drink and a meet-and-greet with the entrepreneurs.

For more information, click here.

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