A new program is being launched in Bangor, Maine, to launch new companies — FAST!
The “Scratchpad Accelerator” will help early stage companies test, improve and figure out how to commercialize their ideas in just three months.
This is a great opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of developing the next great “whatever” and could use some focus, expertise and support.
The Scratchpad Accelerator will bring companies together under the same roof and provide them with daily support, mentoring and funding to get to the next stage.
Similar business accelerators have been offered in other parts of the country. This is the first time an accelerator of this type has been offered in Maine. That makes the program itself a new business model.
Organizers of the program are designing and defining the program as they go and hope to create a “playbook” of what it takes to create a successful business accelerator program so that it can be replicated in other parts of the state.
Having spent many years working in entrepreneurial and economic development in Maine I can tell you the right partners are involved to make this program a success. If you fit the profile of the type of business they are looking for, you would be remiss to not apply for this program.
The Scratchpad Accelerator is a University of Maine initiative in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute. The team leading the program is tapped into the entrepreneurial community in Maine and will match participating companies with the tools, resources, experts and mentors they need to achieve their goals.
The Maine Technology Institute is an organization that funds early stage tech-based companies to move them from the research and development stage to commercialization. Companies can apply for up to $25,000 in seed funding from MTI.
Who should apply to be in the Scratchpad Accelerator program? Any company in Maine is eligible. The criteria are listed on their website:
- Can scale for high growth over the next decade.
- Address a market that has a total value of more than $100 million.
- Has team of two or three people working on this business full time.
- Is a current or potential Maine Technology Institute portfolio company (a company with a pending application or a prior recipient of TechStart or seed grants).
- Competes in one of the following sectors: biotech, advanced materials/composites, environmental tech, forest products/agriculture, high-tech/IT, marine tech and aquaculture, precision manufacturing.
Applications to get into the accelerator are being accepted until Aug. 28. The organizers hope to accept three companies. The start date is Sept. 14.
You have to be willing to locate your company to the accelerator in Bangor (location to be determined) and focus solely on your business for three months.
If you are not in business but you have experience or expertise that might help a business you should consider serving as a mentor. It’s a great way to give back and be involved in an exciting entrepreneurial adventure.
Anyone interested in business in general may want to follow along as this program develops. It will be exciting to see what kinds of companies participate and what they can accomplish in just a few short months.
Amazing things can happen when you plant a seed and give it as much nourishment as possible in a short period of time. Exciting things may be growing in Bangor!
You can watch this all unfold by following Scratchpad Accelerator on Facebook and Twitter and signing up for updates at scratchpadaccelerator.com.