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Greenlight Maine, an entrepreneurial pitch contest with a $200,000 purse, wasted no time in whittling down its Season 2 entrants to 26 semifinalists this past Saturday at Husson University’s Westbrook campus.
The 26 bested 43 quarterfinalists, which in turn were chosen from an initial field of 80 entrants, according to the show’s sponsors.
“Initially we thought it would be challenging to top last year's inaugural Greenlight Maine class of startups, however this year's semifinalists are proving to be in a league of their own,” Brian Corcoran, CEO and founder of Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, wrote in an email response to questions from Mainebiz. “Many Season 2 semifinalists listened to and learned from previously featured Greenlight Maine startups and mentors as many of them are clearly on a more defined path based on recent pitches and related business plans, people and processes.”
The inaugural season ended on June 24 at the conclusion of Maine Startup and Create Week when Portland-based curbside composting company Garbage to Garden bested a field of over 80 prospective startups to win the $100,000 top prize.
The Maine Department of Economic Development kicked in to help the entrepreneur at least double its purse to $200,000 in Season 2, and expand its reach in the state with the aim of also creating more jobs in Maine.
"We are in active conversations with other private and public foundations with goal of doubling the Greenlight Maine prize purse and related grants from $100,000 in Season 1 — to $200,000-plus in Season 2," Corcoran told Mainebiz earlier.
Greenlight Maine is the brainchild of Portland Media Group, a custom content and production company founded by Corcoran; Nat Thompson, former president of Maine Radio and Television Co. and former owner/producer at WCSH 6; and Con Fullam, an executive TV producer and music composer. PMG partnered with Jess Knox, founder of Maine Startup and Create Week, to lead the selection process for the companies.
Greenlight Maine’s 2016-2017 season runs statewide via WCSH6 and WLBZ2 on Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. beginning on Sept. 24.
Semifinalists will receive mentoring from some of Maine’s best and brightest corporate, media and marketing executives as well as receive extensive promotion across television, print, social and digital media.
Amalgam Skis, founded by Amy and Philip Taisey, Freeport
American Unagi, owned by Sara Rademaker, Thomaston
Bluet Maine, partners Eric Martin and Michael Terrien, Jefferson
Buko Chips, founded by Lorraine Fagela, Falmouth
Cobbler Technologies, CEO Andrew Katon, Bangor
Dog Not Gone, founded by Bill and Julie Swain, Kingfield
eFoodGuru, founded by Leland Stillman, Portland
Eighteen Twenty Wines, founded by Amanda O’Brien and Pete Dubuc, Portland
EterNav, founded by Kasey Smith, Castine
Herbal Revolution Farm, owned by Katheryn Langelier, Camden
Izzy’s Cheesecake, President Jim Chamoff and Vice President and Executive Chef, David Izenstatt, Portland
Jellux, owned by Nicholas Laude, Wells, ME
Lobster Unlimited, with Cathy Billings and Chief Scientist Dr. Bob Bayer, Brewer
McDermott Shapes, founded by Andy and Ryan McDermott, Scarborough
Mobility Technologies, CEO Ryan Beaumont, Brunswick
Re-Fridge, founded by Mitch Newlin, Brunswick
Rwanda Bean, founded by Mike Mwenedata, Portland
Sidewalk Buttler, founded by Mike Roylos, Portland
Spring Point Solutions, CEO, Rick Hollen, Portland
Stache Bomb, founded by Jamin Badger, Dayton
Surge Hydro, founded by David B. Markley and Nicholas A. Cabral, Belfast
Switchdown, founded by Jon Hanson, Durham
Tip Whip, founded by Spencer Wood, Orono
Truck Task, President David E. Grant, Brewer
Vigilance Software, CEO Jason Roberts, South Portland
Wag Rags, founded by Chris Voynik, Readfield
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