As we all know, the color green is synonymous with money and if we recall our symbolism from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock represents prosperity, wealth, and the American Dream. On Thursday night, three Maine companies (Bixby & Co, bluShift Aerospace, and STARC Systems) in dogged pursuit of fulfilling the American Dream will face off to see who wins $25,000, $10,000 or $5,000 in prize money on Greenlight Maine. Greenlight Maine has been described by some in Maine’s innovation ecosystem as Maine’s kinder, gentler version of the Emmy Award-winning show, Shark Tank. Its finale will be aired on Maine Public Television at 8PM tomorrow night and replayed on Sunday at 5:30PM.
This year’s finalists – – all MTI portfolio companies I might add – – emerged after competing against a total of 26 contestants. The competition was extremely challenging given the logistical realities related to the pandemic and the corresponding complexities associated with operating an early-stage business during such a difficult time. The businesses are all amazingly unique and innovative but, quite frankly, could not be more different from one another. One is a craft candy confectionery, one is developing a line of Maine made rockets that are powered by bio-derived fuel, and one manufactures reusable temporary wall containment systems. While obviously making dissimilar products, they all share a common goal of scaling their products and businesses in Maine. So, a big win-win for the state.
MTI has been a proud sponsor and supporter of Greenlight Maine over the years. On Thursday night, the television series will complete its sixth and, arguably, most successful season yet. In addition to its trademark startup business series, Greenlight Maine also conducted a college edition that pitted 12 entrepreneurial minded students against one another. The winners of that competition were announced last week.
This year, Greenlight Maine also launched a new edition celebrating minority-owned enterprises in our state. The Elevating Voices series was a huge success and helped shine a light on twelve amazing minority led businesses and the wonderful products they produce.
I want to take a moment to commend Greenlight Maine’s creators/producers Con Fullam and Nat Thompson, as well as host Julene Gervais, for another incredibly successful season. We are all eager to see what they have in store for us in season seven!
However, let us not look past the season six finale tomorrow night. Be sure to tune in to find out if Bixby, bluShift, or STARC takes home the green.
Have a terrific Fourth of July!