So, another month has passed and it’s time for me to write a blog for the MTI eNewsletter. Hampered by a bad case of writer’s block (although referring to myself as a writer is generous at best), I nosed through the archive of past blogs I’ve written to try to find some inspiration. While they did not necessarily stimulate me to think of a creative and interesting topic with which to write – – as is abundantly evident at this point – – I was struck by the volume of material in the archive and noticed some themes and attributes.
First, this is the 72nd blog I have written since taking the helm at MTI in August 2014. That’s about 10 blogs a year on average. I was surprised by the amount and didn’t even count the guest MTI bloggers that filled in for me on occasion including Karen West, our resident expert on federal R&D grant programs, and former employees or contractors like Martha Bentley and Betsy Peters.
Most of the blogs over the years have rightly focused on MTI, our funding or support programs, as well as expressions of gratitude to members of the MTI Board and team. Ecosystem partners have also been frequent topics of past blogs including SCORE, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE), Startup Maine, and Greenlight Maine to name a few.
There have been blogs about MTI portfolio companies and the amazing things they are doing, as well as sector-specific pieces touting technology advances in our state’s heritage industries and sectors like aeronautics, life sciences, and information technology.
I weirdly blog a lot about the four seasons in Maine, often quoting writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps even more peculiar, holidays have also been prominently noted in past blogs, with one even including more than a few lines of a Perry Como song. I mean, how does one relate a holiday carol to R&D and innovation?? Oh, and sports found its way into a few past blogs as well. My Red Sox and Patriots loyalty has been exposed on an occasion or two.
As I noted, writer’s block caused me to go back and read through seven years of past blogs seeking inspiration for a topic for this month. While a riveting subject eluded me, I was happy that I reviewed the old blogs as they revealed a timeline of some pretty amazing events and milestones over the past seven years.
What’s clear is that we have much to celebrate in Maine. Our dreamers and doers continue to tackle daunting challenges and develop innovative solutions that lead to new advancements, products, and companies. Spurred on by MTI and the many partners within the state’s innovation ecosystem, Maine entrepreneurs and organizations continue to achieve and inspire. They are starting and growing new enterprises, attracting investment, and offering quality employment opportunities. Despite the writer’s block, I am so pleased that my blog provides me a forum each month to recognize them and the many exciting things going on in Maine’s innovation economy.
In closing, I want to take a moment to provide well-earned kudos to MTI’s Wanda McNeil (see this month’s staff spotlight). Wanda is the creator and editor of MTI’s monthly eNewsletter and, aside from the President’s blog, provides all the content. Working with our marketing contractor, Visible Logic, she does a marvelous job delivering helpful and meaningful content and graphics each month. She also manages all of MTI’s social media accounts and does an extraordinary job disseminating news and information relevant to Maine innovators. Thank you for all you do, Wanda!
Have a great weekend everybody.