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March 6, 2020

Startup notebook: Startup Maine outgrows MECA, CEI launches women's tech incubator

Workshop at Startup Maine conference Courtesy/Startup Maine This year's Startup Maine conference will take place from June 17-19 in Portland. Applications are currently being accepted for workshops.

Startup Maine's annual gathering in Portland for entrepreneurs has gotten so big that it's moving to a new venue this year. 

Previously held at Maine College of Art, the 2020 conference will take place at the University of Southern Maine's Abromson Community Education Center from June 17-19.

StartupMaine President Katie Shorey, who recently joined Live + Work in Maine as director of engagement, told Mainebiz that Startup Maine sold more than 430 tickets last year and expects to top 500 this year.

"We were outgrowing MECA, so we're excited to be at USM Abromson in Portland," she said, recalling some packed workshops last year with standing-room only and 50-plus attendees.

She said they're equally excited to have Bangor Savings Bank as a presenting sponsor this June, along with the Maine Technology Institute. 

This year's workshop tracks are the blue economy, technology and business fundamentals — and subject matter experts from around the country are invited to submit an application to lead a workshop or panel. The deadline to apply is March 13.

As planning continues, a Startup Maine subcommittee has been formed to focus on contingency planning should the coronavirus become a larger problem.

"We are tracking the issue and following protocol as it relates to conferences and large gatherings," she said.

Find the full program agenda here.

Editor's note: This story was updated with a new photo. 

Women's tech incubator set for takeoff

Helping women create and start tech-based businesses is the goal of an incubator being launched this month by the CEI Women's Business Center.

CEI Women's Business Center logo

The free, eight-week program, to be held at CEI's offices in Brunswick starting March 25, aims to give participants guidance from developers, designers and business advisers. There will also be round-the-clock support from program facilitators.

After the program wraps up, participants will get ongoing support and become part of a a growing community of alumnae in Maine who can help them build their businesses. 

A background or expertise in technology is not a requirement for participating.

"We really want to attract women who don't consider themselves techies," program director Anna Ackerman told Mainebiz. "We're really looking for women to have an idea and would need help in making connections to developers and designers to create a solution."

As of Wednesday, she said there were 10 participants but the incubator can take two to three more.

More information is available online.

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