June News – Summer is Here and We’re Busy at MTI

June 25, 2024 | President’s blog

Enjoy the long summer days while they last!

The summer solstice, that arrived packing a powerful heat punch, leaves no question that summer is here. While we seemingly went from mild temperatures to intense 90 degree weather overnight, it’s exciting to start donning lighter clothes and sunglasses while visiting all the amazing Maine public gardens, beaches, and parks.   This month we feature Black Travel Maine, which helps people find all those great Maine spots!

Things have certainly been eventful at MTI over the past few months and summer looks to continue the trend. From an upcoming office move to important staff transitions, to a series of requests for proposals, to upcoming funding announcements, there is a lot happening.   

Over the next couple of months, MTI is moving its offices from Brunswick Landing to Cloudport in Portland. MTI has leased three private offices and the new Portland facility has access to floating and dedicated desks for entrepreneurs, conference rooms, and community gathering spaces. Moving is never fun, and while we’re sad to say goodbye to our long-time offices at Brunswick Landing, we’re looking forward to being in a bustling space among many entrepreneurs in Portland.  Please stop in and say “hi”!

Recently, MTI has worked on a number of initiatives to improve the volunteer experience of the 100+ subject matter experts that compose our seven targeted technology boards. Towards that end, we convened all seven individual tech boards at MTI over a seven-day span. The meeting agendas included an overview of the results of a recent Tech Board member survey, new process improvements associated with the survey results, an MTI portfolio review by sector, some training and education on MTI’s application and diligence process, and an open discussion about challenges and opportunities within the sectors.  We are always looking for qualified members to join our review boards so, if you’re interested, please reach out to us directly.

As you will recall, MTI has been administering over $80 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding on behalf of the State of Maine.  $39.6 million of that funding was to be used specifically to assist businesses within the seven targeted technology sectors to help them mitigate the adverse economic impacts associated with the global pandemic.  MTI created the Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME) program to deploy the funding.  In the summer of 2022, we issued a solicitation for PRIME Phase 1 funding.  We ended up making 175 awards totaling just over $26 million.  In late 2022, we administered the PRIME Ecosystem program which offered grants to entrepreneurial support organizations.  MTI issued 15 awards totaling more than $6 million. 

The remaining $7+ million in available funding will be deployed through the PRIME Phase 2 program and we expect to begin soliciting proposals in July.  MTI will aggressively expand its outreach on this program to encourage companies to apply that have not yet received ARPA funding from us or other state agencies – funds must be used to strengthen the company or mitigate residual impact of the pandemic. Requests of up to $250,000 will be considered and award decisions are expected to be made by the end of September.

Finally, I would personally like to thank Joe Migliaccio for his long and distinguished tenure at MTI.  He recently announced he will retire from MTI on July 1.  We wish him all the best in his future endeavors, and want to express our collective gratitude for his remarkable accomplishments – please read an overview of his many successes at MTI featured here. 

Wishing you the best for a wonderful 4th of July and a great kick-off to summer.