Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: January 16, 2024

From med tech to skin care: Top Gun names 41 startups to 2024 lineup

People holding an oversized $25,000 check File hoto / Kevin Fahrman From left, Laurie Johnson and Tom Rainey of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs present the $25,000 Top Gun prize to Bernard Hidier of Finsulate in 2022.

Out of 57 companies that applied to Maine’s 2024 Top Gun business accelerator program, 41 have been accepted and will receive help growing to the next level.

The program expanded this year to include participants from Aroostook and Washington counties as well as from the Ellsworth region.

“The applicants from those areas have been incredibly diverse industry-wise, from much-needed service solutions, to a med tech company detecting breast cancer early, to an all-natural skin care company,” Laurie Johnson, Top Gun’s program manager, told Mainebiz.

For the first time, female entrepreneurs will outnumber their male peers in the program.

“For the past few years we have seen those numbers run about half and half, but with 24 women-led startups to 17 men, 2024 seems to be the year Maine women turn those numbers around,” Johnson said.

The 15-week program, run by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, provides hands-on training and group learning taught by finance, business and marketing experts.

In a final statewide showcase scheduled for May 16, the winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize sponsored by Maine Technology Institute.

2024 Top Gun participants 

Ellsworth (three companies) 

  • AFR (Benjamin Pyles)
  • Farm & Fish (Kate Pilotte)
  • Salt Air Properties LLC (Amanda Look)

Houlton (six companies)

  • Automated Waste and Recycling Inc. (Charles J. Amara)
  • Caribou Painting Co. (James Dempsey)
  • Chapped Hide (Suzanne Belle Hiltz)
  • LYFT (Jack Westfall)
  • Maine Bean & Tea (PattiJo Thompson)
  • WAVED Medical LLC (Kendra Batchelder)

Lewiston/Auburn (10 companies)

  • Alchemize Coach (Christine O'Connell)
  • DeltaCom Coffee (John Nelson)
  • Garden Bevy (Sarah Chadburn)
  • Glendarragh Farm Lavender (Lorie Costigan)
  • MAC's Gourmet Popcorn (Erika Moore)
  • Nor'Easter Oyster Co. (Sean Corcoran)
  • Sovereign Women's Wellness LLC (Shea Donovan)
  • Upta Maine (Shaun Hadlock)
  • Real Moving Location (Bengui A. Sauca)
  • Vayu (Gabby LaRiviere)

Machias (four companies) 

  • Nautical Farms (Morgan-Lea Fogg)
  • Pen & Cob Farm (Katherine Swann)
  • Rime Farm (Lisa Dereszewski)
  • Sew Fetch Dog Co. (Caissie Roberts)

Portland (12 companies) 

  • Balanced Card Sorts (Anush Hansen)
  • Black Travel Maine (Lisa Jones)
  • Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear (Anna Turcotte)
  • Climate Resources Group (Sam Milton)
  • Go Natural English (Gabrielle Wallace)
  • Kili Organics (Juliana Tebbetts)
  • Lifted Blends (Devon Lathrop)
  • Marcel Selemani (Marcel Selemani)
  • Squad 10 Medical Fitness Center (Sarah Spencer)
  • The Pain Changer (Katie Wrigley)
  • Vitalo Health (Mike R. Mfashingabo)
  • WOWSpace Design (James Leslie)

Waterville (five companies) 

  • AIM Academy Inc. (Derek Session)
  • Concepta Jones (Concepta Jones)
  • Scrap Dogs Compost (Davis Saltonstall)
  • Watermelon Pie (Kachina Miller)
  • Watts Works (Nick Watts)

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF