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October 24, 2019

Top Gun kicks off in Kennebec, Somerset counties

File Photo / Claudia Dricot Tom Rainey, executive director of Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, left, is joined by Brian Whitney, president of Maine Technology Institute, in presenting the $25,000 cash prize for the 2018 Top Gun Showcase to the winner, Erica Schmitz, founder of the Portland startup MyBodyModel.

If you’re gunning to start a business in Kennebec or Somerset counties, this Top Gun is for you.

Thomas College, in partnership with the Central Maine Growth Council, is launching the startup mentoring program early next year for entrepreneurs in those counties, as well as the Waldo County towns of Burnham, Freedom, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

The program is open to businesses in all industries and concentrates on early-stage companies and those looking to grow, according to a news release from the Waterville college.

Overseen by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, the program will provide eight to 10 businesses with top-level business instruction and guidance over a 15-week period.

Entrepreneurs enrolled in the program will learn from a curriculum that brings industry and topic experts into a Thomas classroom on a weekly basis. Participants also will create a business development pitch, and two of the regional entrepreneurs will be selected to compete in the state Top Gun Showcase pitch competition at the end of the program.

The state competition awards a prize of $25,000.    

There's an entry fee of $500; applications for the program are due Nov. 20 and can be found here.

More information is available here or by contacting Joshua Devou, in Thomas College’s Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation, at 207-859-1159 or

The program is supported by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Alfond Institute.

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