Programs that help accelerate growth:
Maine Manufacturer Acceleration Program - helps improve products, reduce costs and get products to market faster.
Strategic Assessment and Technology Roadmapping - helps businesses define their ability to successfully integrate new and innovative technologies, identify appropriate solutions, assist with technology transfer and develop product commercialization strategies;
Ideas for Growth program - helps to find measurably smarter choices for growth.
The Scratchpad Accelerator is a seed accelerator that helps startups explore, pivot, and grow their companies, FAST.
ScaleUp Portland ME provides structured discussions, one-on-one business support, and networking opportunities to aid growing businesses in their efforts to effectively scale up. The program is funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Top Gun is a five-month program that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings.
Companies that are selected to participate in this program are able to get the help they need to accelerate projects and grow their business.
The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program was created to fill a distinct gap in resources for entrepreneurs looking to grow or start a business. It allows businesses to consult with an entrepreneur that has the industry or area-specific knowledge needed to help address a specific need, challenge or question.
Support the business development needs of early stage companies in a shared workspace. TechPlace will give entrepreneurs a place to network with others, research and develop ideas, build prototypes, test products, assemble, grow, and become successful manufacturing and technology companies.
4-month programs: mentorship, office space, education, network & community, and other resources.
Creates a new model for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business beyond seed financing. Based in Boston, it works closely with select companies and mentor them to refine their business model, obtain access to capital and tap into a peer network for ongoing support.
Maine's community college system offers affordable customized training and continuing education that gives businesses and employees the skills they need to compete. Maine Quality Centers provides grants to help cover costs of customized training; Put ME to Work program offers $500,000 in new grant funding to create & enhance training programs across Maine. It covers 50% of the costs to create new training programs or enhance existing ones at Maine’s community colleges.
Business service representatives provides information on no-cost employee training options, applicant assessment and recruitment services. They working with partner agencies, can assess your workforce training needs and provide eligible employers with workforce development services free of charge.
Maine Business Mentor Resources
SCORE Mentors, sponsored by SBA, provides free and confidential counseling, mentoring and advice to small business owners nationwide via a network of business executives, leaders and volunteers. You can also find mentors by zip code or through local chapters in Bangor, Augusta, Auburn, Ellsworth, Portland, and Oxford Hills.
Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) provide free business advising to Maine’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. Certified business advisors help businesses at all stages to provide individualized business development assistance to both new and existing businesses. Find an advisor near you.
Business Consultants from MaineStream Finance offer free one-on-one consultation to help create a business plan for a new business. They provide technical assistance for better marketing, financial questions, loan preparation, and many other business issues.
Small Business Development Center at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) offers free one-on-one assistance in business start-up/acquisition, sources of credit and financing, marketing and sales, government procurement, accounting, record keeping and cash flow analysis, operation, international trade and various other business issues.
The Maine Mentor Network from Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development is a group of vetted industry experts who volunteer their time and talent to accelerate the success rate of Maine companies. The network provides expert assistance and mentorship statewide for scalable entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds and programs, including Top Gun, MoneyTrack, and other partner programs.
Innovation Engineering Coaching Program of the University of Maine, in partnership with Doug Hall’s Eureka! Ranch, has developed an intensive Innovation Engineering coaching program to help an individual company (or a small group of related industry partners) generate and commercialize innovative ideas.
For Government Contractors
The GSA’s Mentor Protégé Program mentors companies voluntarily and assists protégé firms in growing their business and competing for federal government contracts and subcontracts.
Women’s Business Center at CEI offers experienced business specialists who can help at any stage of the business, from start-up to expansion. It offers these services through two separately grant funded programs: the Women’s Business Center at CEI Southern Maine and Rural Maine.
Women Standing Together (WST)
Women entrepreneurs can connect with a community who will support them in the growth of their business. Quarterly round table sessions provide feedback & referrals on the entrepreneur's challenge.
For Entrepreneurs 50+
SBA ECORE Mentoring hosts various events (workshops, conferences, seminars, etc.) to help entrepreneurs 50+ start or grow a business.
For Refugees and Immigrants
StartSmart program with CEI is a free business development program that helps immigrants starting or growing a business.
Minority Business Development Agency consults with minority business owners and help them gain access to capital, write contracts, and conduct market research.
Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers provide veterans with entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring through 15 SBA participating organizations.
Growing your Business (SBA)
SCORE Webinars on Growing your business by:
Managing Human Resources
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal agency that aims to help small businesses succeed. It offers courses, workshops, publications, information and other programs designed to help start or expand your business. Maine District Office of the SBA can provide you more guidance in access to capital, counseling and government contracting.
The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) should be a first stop on your journey to self-employment. This partnership program with the State of Maine, the SBA and the University of Southern Maine provides one-on-one counseling to existing and startup entrepreneurs on such topics as cash flow and marketing. They also offer an interactive on-line business start-up course.
SCORE is a network of entrepreneurs, business lenders and executives, who volunteer as mentors to the small business community providing assistance to help entrepreneurs start businesses, grow companies and create jobs in local communities. It offer workshops and mentor programs. SCORE Maine offers some local resources; SCORE Bangor, Augusta, Auburn, Ellsworth, Portland, and Oxford Hills offer local workshops and mentoring services.
The Women’s Business Development Center provides business training, coaching and mentoring and other assistance geared toward women.
Maine Technology Institute works with entrepreneurs, innovators, established businesses and institutions conducting research and development to Fund, Connect and Grow, providing connections to resources that will help them commercialize their technologies.
Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development helps entrepreneurs re-invent the Maine economy by providing them with resources to build innovative world-class companies.
Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) provides the Maine Manufacturer Acceleration Program, a business development program designed to generate innovative growth through collaboration.
5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673