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MTI Blog

5/1/10 - Investing in Maine's Prosperity

Recently on MaineBiz Sunday, I was asked “If Maine was a company, would you buy, hold or sell your stock?” As I thought about that question afterwards, it seemed to me that Maine is like a “value” stock – a stock undervalued by the market today that has strong prospects for appreciation in the future.

There are many reasons why here at MTI, we are bullish about Maine’s future. MTI invests in innovation for a prosperous Maine, and therefore has a front row seat on the creativity and entrepreneurial energy percolating in all corners of the state.

In The Innovator, we often feature companies that are pioneering Maine’s future using technologies that build on our traditional industries in agriculture, forestry and marine sciences and that are spurring the growth in new areas such as the use of composite materials in renewable energy. In this issue, we are featuring another aspect of Maine’s economy that gives us much optimism for Maine’s future. Every day, we see examples of young people getting involved in technology and being inspired by their experiences to go on to get advanced degrees or to become entrepreneurs themselves.

This issue profiles four young professionals who have worked on MTI-funded research and development proj¬ects and gone on to further their careers in research and innovation, or who have taken advantage of MTI’s early-stage funding to start and grow their new business. From Betsy Barber, Nebraska native, who was inspired in child¬hood to study marine life and came to Maine to study and work at Downeast Institute, to William Sulinski, who de¬veloped his love of a game into a mobile software tool for golfers worldwide, Zach Conover, who returned to Maine after receiving his MBA to grow his company in his home state, and Joan Malcolm Albee, whose passion for bio¬medical engineering was sparked by a summer job at the Jackson Laboratory and while working at the Lab is pursu¬ing her doctoral degree.

These stories show not only how MTI contributes to a vibrant innovation economy, but how our funding and commercialization support opens up opportunities for young Mainers to develop their skills and inspire them to attain advanced degrees that help them to make a good liv¬ing for them and their families. This is particularly important since Maine lags New England and the nation in advanced degrees in science and technology fields, which we know correlate with higher salaries. Continuing to invest in the technology develop¬ment and processes that can bring innovative prod¬ucts to market will help ensure that Maine increases the number of young entrepreneurs and researchers choosing to build their careers and their livelihoods here in Maine. We are bullish on Maine. We see the promise of a strong future in its value and continued appreciation for its people and its assets for years to come.


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