Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps Nearing Launch: MTI Currently Seeking Talented Consultants & Resource Providers to Enroll in Corps

Brian Whitney MTI President

Back in February, in this same blog space, I informed you that MTI would soon be launching the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC).  The Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps is contemplated as a database of vetted consultants within 20+ specific functional areas.  They will be enlisted to provide short-term consulting services to Maine startups to help address critical project-specific skill deficiencies on their teams.  To learn more about this exciting new program, please visit MTI’s website.

The database we have developed will include a qualified list of Maine consultants, along with their backgrounds, fees, and available references.  When MTI, or one of our partner organizations, identifies that a startup has a particular project need that has the potential to add significantly to its productivity and growth, MTI will determine eligibility and, if qualified, provide the client company with a list of 2 – 3 consultants from the database that might be a fit. The client company will then decide which consultant they want to use based on fit and cost.

Recognizing that startups are typically challenged with coming up with the necessary funding to hire outside professional support, and also acknowledging that some consultants may avoid working with startup founders for the same reason, MERC will cover 50% of the cost of the engagement.  A simple agreement will be executed between the client and contractor that outlines the project, scope, deliverables, cost, timing, and reporting.  Once the project is complete, the client verifies the results, provides a performance rating on the consultant’s work, and then MTI disburses its funding.  It’s a win-win for both the client and contractor because the client gets the project completed at an affordable cost and the contractor doesn’t have to wait for a big chunk of the project funding as MTI will commit to paying its portion within 14 days of project completion.

The ideal MERC project is one that will contribute to the growth and productivity of the client company by addressing a critical skill deficiency. The MERC program is not intended to subsidize part-time or fractional long-term employment. Accordingly, MERC projects will ideally last no more than three months and will have a defined start, middle, and end. All MERC projects have a maximum project fee of $20,000 total ($10,000 paid by MTI).

So, how can you get involved?  Well, today, MTI is beginning to accept consultant applications with the goal of obtaining 40-60 consultants for the MERC database by late June.  If you are interested in enrolling in the program as a consultant or service provider, please explore the following link on our website and apply.  Once our database is populated with qualified consultants, we anticipate accepting applications from businesses looking to avail themselves of the expertise and matching them with prospective consultants for project approval, beginning in July.

Finally, I am thrilled to announce that MTI recently hired Emily Braley to serve as the Coordinator of the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps.  You can learn more about Emily in our May newsletter as we provided a brief profile and spotlight.  If you have questions or would like further information about MERC, please e-mail her at Emily Braley.

Again, MTI is pleased to offer this new service to Maine’s dreamers, doers, and risk takers, and we look forward to evaluating its short and long-term impact on startup growth and scalability.

Have a great weekend.