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MTI Blog

2/1/12 - Collaborations at Work

As MTI moves forward with our work to fund and grow Maine's innovative companies to create and sustain good jobs across the state, we have the pleasure of partnering with individuals and organizations across the state and beyond, who share our belief in and dedication to Maine's potential. This month, we highlight several of these collaborations.

I am delighted to announce that the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative has completed its national search for an executive director. On Tuesday, we announced the hiring of John Voltz to lead the initiative. A resident of Cape Elizabeth, John joins Blackstone Accelerates Growth from Jane Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based corporate advisory and merchant banking firm where as a principal, he spent the past decade advising entrepreneurs launching businesses and multi-national corporations looking for U.S. investment opportunities. See full press release here.

Since its launch in October, Blackstone Accelerates Growth has already competitively awarded 37 scholarships to students from the University of Maine in Orono, Augusta and the University of Southern Maine to participate in the spring semester of Innovation Engineering which began this month. It is piloting its first two regional hubs in the greater Portland and the greater Orono/Bangor regions and planning the initiative's first summer internship program involving students from the University of Maine system and selected private colleges across the state. The initiative is housed at MTI, and involves the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development's Top Gun program and the Innovation Engineering program at the University of Maine. We welcome John to the helm of this exciting statewide partnership.

Later this month, MTI joins MCED, USM, SEGF, the Target Technology Incubator, Maine Women's Fund, University of Maine at Machias, Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Club and many other organizations to celebrate Maine's entrepreneurs during Entrepreneurship Week Feb 11-18. Find MTI at Bowdoin College on Tuesday, Feb 24 from 9am-3pm for one of the "Calling All Entrepreneurs" events where you can meet one-on-one with investors and advisors. On Wednesday, MCED is hosting Steve Blank, the #1 entrepreneurship educator in Silicon Valley, for a Celebrity Presentation that will be streamed to locations across the state and on Thursday, February 16, MTI will be hosting a free networking event from 6-8pm with 2 Degrees Portland at Kepware's offices in Portland for all who looking for employees, currently working or looking to work in Maine to grow Maine's innovation economy. We hope you'll join us! Please visit the E-Week Calendar for a full schedule of events.

And lastly, I want to congratulate our friend and former MTI Board Member, Karen Mills, on the recent elevation of her position as Administrator of the Small Business Administration in Washington to the Cabinet-level. As a member of the President's Cabinet, Karen will have even more of an opportunity to highlight the importance of growing an entrepreneurial economy, developing strong industry clusters and focusing on the talents and potential of small business nationally, as well as in Maine.


Betsy Biemann

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