Processing Your Payment

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

Updated: June 8, 2021

UpStart Maine to launch new showcase and mentorship programs

building entry File PHOTO / LAURIE SCHREIBER UpStart Maine, a coalition of entrepreneur-support organizations in the Bangor region, recently received a $20,000 grant to launch two business growth programs. Seen here is the UpStart Center for Entrepreneurship.

UpStart Maine, a coalition of entrepreneur-support organizations in the Bangor region, says the recent award of a $20,000 in grant funding will help the alliance officially launch two business growth programs that were piloted this spring.

The grant came from the Maine Community Foundation’s new “Startup Scaleup” program.

The money is expected to offer Maine entrepreneurs new, “high-profile” channels to showcase their products and to gain personalized expert advice on how to grow their startups, according to a news release.

“This funding has accelerated UpStart Maine’s ability to bring entrepreneurs the innovative content and opportunities that will fuel their business growth,” Katelynn Ronan, president of UpStart Maine, said in the release.

This past spring, UpStart Maine piloted two programs — Maine Innovation Nights and Virtual Mentor Nights. 

Maine Innovation Nights are modeled on Mass Innovation Nights in greater Boston. The Maine version is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners to showcase their products to customers and investors on a statewide scale. Each month, approximately 10 businesses will be invited to pitch their products. The pitches may represent a first-time product launch, or a pivot by an existing business. Organizers of the program held an introductory session last month.

Virtual Mentor Nights pairs entrepreneurs with industry experts and executives for one-on-one advising sessions on curated topics, including marketing, human resources and industry-specific subjects. The program is designed to provide a personalized approach and an easy remote meeting setup. 

“Through Maine Innovation Nights and Virtual Mentor Nights, we intend to bring innovative startups and businesses into contact with as many mentors, potential customers, investors and other community resources as possible,” said Ronan. “Many of these startups are growing with the help of our UpStart Maine coalition partners’ programs and facilities, and these new initiatives are an exciting way to further support them.”

UpStart Maine serves as a hub for startups and business owners.

Resources include the Bangor Innovation Center incubator, Big Gig pitch program, CoVort co-work space in downtown Bangor, Foster Center for Innovation at the University of Maine, MaineStream Finance, Scratchpad Accelerator, Top Gun accelerator and the UpStart Center for Innovation incubator in Orono. 

Over the past three years, 96 businesses have participated in the coalition’s services. The businesses subsequently hired 237 staff and raised $9.5 million in capital. 

For more details on Maine Innovation Nights and Virtual Mentor Nights, click here and go to the Events & News tab.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF