States – Maine

Maine Resources

Maine Technology Institute – TechStart Grant

Kim Doughty
Lending and Grant Associate
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 203-2072
kdoughty@mainetechnology.org  

Purpose of Initiative

A private non-profit organization created and funded by the State of Maine, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) works with a diversity of entrepreneurs, companies, and scientists, as well as the ecosystem that supports them to research, develop and launch new products and processes into the commercial marketplace.  MTI is dedicated to the start-up and expansion of technology-based, high-growth enterprises.

The TechStart Grant supports entrepreneurs/companies who are likely to pursue follow on funding for Research and Development to conduct early-stage market analysis, business plan development, and intellectual property protection activities.

Eligibility

The TechStart Grant is open to individuals and companies across Maine who are looking to develop their new ideas and new products in one of the following seven targeted technology sectors: Biotechnology; Composites & Advanced Materials; Environmental Technologies; Forest Products & Agriculture; Information Technology; Marine Technology & Aquaculture; and Precision Manufacturing. TechStart Grant projects must have clearly defined deliverable outcomes and endpoints for the specifically funded scope of work, which is not to exceed six months in duration.

Application Process

Entrepreneurs with ideas of innovative technologies are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants must consolidate all application documents into a single PDF file, and then upload MTI’s Online Application Portal. Deadline dates may be  found here.

Award Details

TechStart Grants for up to $5,000 per project will be awarded monthly up to twelve times each year. Funds from another service provider must not be readily available. Awarded grants require a 1:1 match consisting of actual cash, salaries, staff time, or equipment directly attributable to the proposed project. TechStart Grants are limited to 6-month projects. An awardee can receive two within a 12-month period.

Maine Technology Institute – Phase 0

Shane Beckim
Investment Officer
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 588-1018
sbeckim@mainetechnology.org  

Purpose of Initiative

The Phase 0 program is a funding opportunity intended to support Main-based entrepreneurs and companies who are pursuing federal funding for R&D projects, through the Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, Broad Agency Announcements, and other Federal agency programs funding R&D efforts to bring innovative products and technologies to the marketplace.

Eligibility

Phase 0 is offered anytime to individuals and companies located in Maine seeking to submit Federal R&D funding proposals, including for SBIR/STTR awards. Funded projects must fall under one of the following seven targeted technology sectors: Biotechnology; Composites & Advanced Materials; Environmental Technologies; Forest Products & Agriculture; Information Technology; Marine Technology & Aquaculture; and Precision Manufacturing.

Application Process

The final Phase 0 application is to be submitted as one, complete PDF attachment uploaded through MTI’s Online Application Portal – to access the Online Portal, please email Shane Beckim.

Award Details

Awards of up to $5,000 are offered on a rolling basis to foster and support competitive federal proposal submissions from Maine applicants. Phase 0 funds can be used for both internal and external direct costs associated with preparation of applications to the SBIR/STTR Phase I and other Federal R&D programs, such as hiring consultant services and/or external resource providers (ERP), and costs to purchase information such as market research reports needed to inform one’s proposal.

All Phase 0 projects must conclude with successful submission of a completed proposal to the targeted Federal R&D program, by that agency’s stated deadline. At least two weeks prior to the Federal R&D program deadline, all Phase 0 recipients must also submit a draft of the Federal funding proposal to MTI’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) team, and work with the TAP team to strengthen the proposal prior to final submission.

Maine Technology Institute – Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0

Martha Bentley
Dir. Of Innovation Infrastructure
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 582-4790
mbentley@mainetechnology.org

Purpose of Initiative

The Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 provides challenge grants for infrastructure, equipment, and technology upgrades for research development and commercialization that will lead to holding and gaining market share, increased revenues, expanded employment, and retention of jobs.

Eligibility

The following identifies eligibility criteria:

  • Applicant must be a Maine organization or establish a core footprint in Maine at the time of investment
  • Must be able to provide a minimum of 1:1 cost sharing for the project (from private or Federal funds)
  • Funds must be used for infrastructure – capital construction, improvements, or equipment costs
  • Project or recipient must be associated with research, development and commercialization innovation continuum
  • Must target one of the following technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology.

Application Process

Interested applicants need to register through MTI’s on-line portal, as well as submit on-line a 10-slide deck “pitch deck” to “pre-qualify” applicants and to determine appropriate level of due diligence,.

Award Details

The funds provided under this program are general fund bond dollars provided through public law approved by the Maine Legislature. For the Fall 2017 Lightning Rounds, MTI anticipated disbursing approximately $20-25 million in challenge grants, but reserved the right to award more or less, depending on the quality and quantity of requests.

Maine Technology Institute – Alliance for Maine’s Marine Economy Capital Grants Program

Martha Bentley
Dir. Of Innovation Infrastructure
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 582-4790
mbentley@mainetechnology.org  

Purpose of Initiative

The Alliance for Maine’s Marine Economy, in partnership with MTI, is responsible for a coordinating a Capital Grants Program to assist traditional fisheries, aquaculture and other seafood-related businesses to grow, become profitable, and create jobs by providing up to 50% of the costs of capital equipment related projects and/or to advance the standards and practices in these marine industries. Capital grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to sustain and advance Maine’s marine economy through business expansion and new product development.

Eligibility

The following identifies eligibility criteria:

  • Applicant must be from Maine’s marine industry
  • Must be able to provide a minimum of 1:1 match for requests under $100K. Requests above $100K require a minimum of 2:1 match. Matching funds must be cash. Match can be in the form of any source such as federal grants, foundation grants, equity investment, bank loans, internally generated funds, or private capital reserve.

Successful applicants will be those best able to demonstrate that a Capital Grants Program award will permit them to leverage matching resources; and that their projects will ultimately (a) save existing jobs, and/or (b) result in new employment opportunities for Maine citizens, (c) result in new products, processes, or services; (d) reduce industry operating costs thereby increasing enterprise profitability; (e) increase industry productivity.

Application Process

Proposals, which are solicited via an RFP (Request For Proposal), are accepted from all participants in the Maine marine economy including: firms, municipalities (including shellfish committees), private, public and non-profit entities, or collaborations of any of these who need capital investments to conduct innovative business development projects in Maine’s marine economy.

All applicants should submit their proposal via MTI’s online application submission portal.

Award Details

Funds available are publicly-approved bond monies. Awards range from $25,000 to $500,000. Funds can only be used for capital improvements and/or to purchase capital equipment that will advance the recipient’s business, enterprise, or the marine industry. Awards cannot be used to fund ordinary annual operating expenses, including personnel or indirect/overhead costs.

Maine Technology Institute – Seed Grant

Kim Doughty
Lending and Grant Associate
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 203-2072
kdoughty@mainetechnology.org

Purpose of Initiative

MTI Seed Grants of up to $25,000 are offered three times a year to support early-stage R&D activities for new products and services that lead to the market. It is intended to support entrepreneurs/companies who are engaging in R&D activities leading to commercialization or follow-on funding. Funded activities may include activities such as: proof of concept work, prototype development, field trials, prototype testing, pilot studies, or technology transfer activities.

Eligibility

The following identifies eligibility criteria:

  • Any size Maine-based company with a significant base of operations and location in Maine.
  • Academic and research laboratories (Technology Transfer) – Compelling Technology Transfer applications will have a realistic expectation that the innovation/technology will be further developed and/or commercialized by partners, or licensees. Technology Transfer Seed Grants are expected to fund projects where a majority of the project execution rests within Maine-based private and public academic or research institutions.
  • Must demonstrate a high potential for economic benefit to Maine.
  • Funded projects must target one of the following technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology.
  • Requires a 1:1 match consisting of actual cash, salaries, staff time, or equipment directly attributable to the proposed project.

Application Process

MTI strongly encourages all applicants to submit by email a draft application at least two weeks prior to the targeted application deadline. As time allows, MTI staff will provide feedback on draft applications submitted at least two weeks prior to the targeted application deadline. The final application should be submitted as one, complete PDF attachment uploaded through MTI’s Online Application Portal. To access the Online Portal, please email Kim Doughty.

Award Details

MTI Seed Grants of up to $25,000 are offered three times a year

(April, August, December). Eligible Activities for a Seed Grant scope of work must be based upon research and development (R&D) efforts to bring new products, processes, or services to market.

Maine Technology Institute – SBIR Accelerator Grant

Shane Beckim
Investment Officer
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 588-1018
sbeckim@mainetechnology.org

 Kim Doughty
Lending and Grant Associate
Maine Technology Institute
8 Venture Ave
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 203-2072
kdoughty@mainetechnology.org

Purpose of Initiative

MTI makes its Accelerator Grants available to help Maine companies that succeed at securing the highly competitive federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) and other Federal R&D program funding to position their companies for commercial success.

Specifically, these grants help Federally-funded recipients to: • Fund commercialization and business development activities not eligible for SBIR/STTR or other Federal R&D funding, but required to advance the research and development to market

  • Increase the incentive for Maine companies to apply for Federal R&D program awards
  • Increase the competitiveness and success of Maine SBIR/STTR/other Federal R&D projects by providing matching funds directed at commercialization and business development activities not typically paid for by the federal award
  • In the Phase I/II review process conducted by the federal agency, help companies be more competitive by stating the company is eligible to receive matching funds that will accelerate commercialization and business success
  • Augment and leverage funds for Phase I, IB and Phase II and IIB awards.

Eligibility

The SBIR Accelerator Program is offered to individuals and companies located in Maine that have recently been chosen for Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and Phase II funding, or other Federal R&D program awards, including Broad Agency Announcements (BAA).

Each grant requires a 1:1 match consisting of actual cash, salaries, staff time, or equipment directly attributable to the proposed project. Funded projects must fall under one of Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology.

Application Process

Applications are due the first Tuesday of each month for SBIR Accelerator Grants. Must be submitted as one, complete PDF attachment uploaded via MTI’s Online Application Portal, by 5pm on the stated deadline date.

Award Details

Accelerator Grants will be awarded up to twelve times each year, for up to $50,000 per project. For SBIR/STTR Phase I recipients, grant fund amount (in addition to SBIR/STTR Phase I grant) is up to 20% of SBIR/STTR Phase I grant, not to exceed $15,000. For SBIR/STTR Phase II recipients and other Federal R&D program awardees, grant fund amount (in addition to SBIR/STTR Phase II grant) is up to 10% of SBIR/STTR Phase II grant or other federal award, not to exceed $50,000.

Maine Venture Fund

John F. Burns, CFA
Managing Director
Maine Venture Fund
PO Box 63
Newport, ME 04953
(207) 924-3800
john@maineventurefund.com

Purpose of Initiative

The Maine Venture Fund is a professionally managed venture capital fund that invests exclusively in Maine companies that demonstrate a potential for high growth and public benefit. The fund has received $13 million in capital contributions from the State of Maine and operates as a revolving, “evergreen” fund. The mission of the fund is to provide resources to attract, support, and help develop eligible small businesses with the potential for substantial growth and success that will contribute to the prosperity of Maine.

Eligibility

The Maine Venture Fund is a Maine-based fund that focuses exclusively on investing in promising growth companies. The fund considers Maine-based companies in all stages of their life cycle and in almost all industry sectors that can demonstrate potential for significant growth and public benefit. A company must meet the following threshold criteria in order to be considered for an investment from the Maine Venture Fund:

  • Have significant operations in Maine
  • Employ 50 or fewer people or have gross sales of $5,000,000 or less within the past 12 months
  • Provide evidence of the need for financial assistance to realize its projected growth and achievement of public benefit, including but not limited to Maine-based job growth and retention
  • Receive co-investment in an amount at least equal to the investment amount sought from the Maine Venture Fund
  • Demonstrate a viable plan for providing a return on investment for the Maine Venture Fund and other investors

Award Details

Portfolio companies receive business advice, technical assistance, and access to an extensive network throughout Maine, New England, and beyond. MVF typically invests $100,000-$300,000 per company.

Maine Angels

contact@maineangels.org

Purpose of Initiative

The Main Angels are accredited private equity investors who provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs in Maine and New England by investing in and mentoring early stage companies. They invest in companies within a broad range of industries, including: aerospace, biotechnology, electronics/instrumentation, healthcare services, mobile, nanotechnology, networking and equipment, security, semiconductors, telecommunications, amongst others.

Eligibility

Investors involved with the Maine Angels organization typically seek out investment opportunities with companies that are developing a differentiated product or service; addressing an emerging market for a given product; have developed a scalable business plan that considers an expanding market; have management capable of executing their business plan; have attractive deal terms; and have an achievable exit strategy. Companies doing business within the state of Maine are of particular interest, but companies working outside of the state (particularly on the East Coast or in the New England region) may also be eligible to receive investment capital from this organization.

Application Process

Interested applicants must submit an online application on gust, the angel industry standard investment management platform. Applications selected will receive an invitation to present to the full membership. Only 2-3 entrepreneurs (about 20% of companies applying) are invited to present at each monthly Member Meeting. After every presentation by an entrepreneur, members who are interested in the proposal form a working group with a designated deal lead. The members work collaboratively through the due diligence process, leveraging the group’s expertise and connections, and negotiate a deal for all members to be able to consider. Once due diligence is complete and deal terms have been established, each member individually chooses whether or not to invest.

Updated March 2018 by Diane Meade

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