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December 19, 2019

Waterville startup Eariously awarded Libra Future Fund grant

Two men sit on the arms of chairs in an expansive brick-walled working swpace. One is wearing a T-shirt and jeans, the other a a suitjacket, with jeans and a plaid shirt. Photo / Tim Greenway Nick Rimsa, cofounder of Eariously, sits with Bricks Coworking and Innovation Space owner RJ Anzelc. Eariously was recently awarded a Libra Future Fund grant to help expand the app, which turns text into audio.
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Waterville startup Eariously, which last week won the Big Gig pitch competition in Orono, has been awarded a grant from the Libra Future Fund that will help accelerate its growth.

Eariously, an iPhone app that turns digital pages into audio, was granted $5,000 from the fund, which awards grants to young entrepreneurs as a way to promote economic development or create job opportunities in Maine, while keeping young talent in the state.

The app was created by Nick Rimsa and Brendan Barr last year. Rimsa said the funding will help Eariously advance its product development in partnership with software designers Ruth Lin and Kia Jones, as well as the Turtle Technologies software development team. The app won development help from Turtle Technologies in a September pitch contest.

Earlier this month, Eariously won the Big Gig pitch competition, receiving both funding and the opportunity to compete in the Big Gig finale in April. The app was also awarded a $10,000 grant from the Maine Technology Institute in August.

Based in Waterville since January 2018, the startup launched its subscription service in November to a group of members and Waterville-area locals, who have offered feedback, Rimsa said in a news release.

“We’re delighted and thankful for the early positive feedback we’ve garnered from our listeners,” he said. “Yet, our focus is to keep improving what we’re offering, so we’re thrilled that this funding allows us to expand the scope of our brilliant teammates.”

Rimsa said the app plans to broaden the launch of its subscription service and continue growing in Waterville, formalizing partnerships with institutions in the city as well as throughout the state that will help distribute its software to more listeners. Currently, the public can listen for free at

The app's development fits into the continuation evolution of Waterville as a startup community, said Garvan Donegan, director of planning and economic development for the Central Maine Growth Council. “This continues to be a transformative year for Eariously and Waterville’s startup community, and we are thrilled for the continued momentum,” Donegan said in the release. “If you look around the downtown district these days, we have startups pitching, competitive funding opportunities being secured, new ventures and facilities emerging, and industry, government, academia and philanthropy all engaging in the ecosystems that we are building.

"In particular, such local investments, paired with talented entrepreneurs, allow us to accelerate our strategy and development of growing and transforming the local innovation economy," he said.

Rimsa and RJ Anzelc, owner of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space in Waterville, where Eariously is based, were named to the Mainebiz 2019 Next List in October.

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