As 2020 mercifully comes to a close, it is my pleasure to release the Maine Technology Institute’s fiscal year 2020 (FY20) annual report. MTI’s fiscal year began in July of 2019 and concluded on June 30, 2020. It was a year that started with great promise and fervor as we planned to celebrate Maine’s bicentennial and our own 20th anniversary and ended with our organization surmounting challenges associated with a global pandemic to bolster and support Maine’s entrepreneurs and technology-based businesses.
MTI experienced another strong year of investing in Maine businesses and entrepreneurs. In FY20, MTI deployed $9.6 million across 140 distinct projects throughout Maine. That’s up from $9.3 million in FY19. And, perhaps more importantly, MTI’s funding leveraged more than $58 million in private sector matching investment (6:1 private/public funding ratio).
Nearly half of the money we deployed in FY20 went out when Maine businesses needed it most, from March to the end of June during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. During that period, MTI awarded $4.67 million to support innovative Maine companies – – including those that pivoted to offer COVID-19-mitigation solutions – – and that funding was matched by almost $22 million in private sector matching funds.
Created by the Legislature and Governor in 1999, MTI has now disbursed $280 million in nearly 2,950 distinct projects across the State of Maine, and that funding has leveraged well-over $1 billion in matching investment. The economic impacts generated as a result of those investments over the past 20 years are worth celebrating. That’s why we spent an evening in early October 2019 to reflect on MTI’s past accomplishments while looking to its future opportunities. Our 20th anniversary celebration was a wonderful trip down memory lane.
The fiscal year ended on a more uncertain and challenging note for Mainers (You can read how MTI responded to the COVID pandemic on Page 4 of the report). Despite the challenges resulting from the pandemic, Maine’s entrepreneurial, technology-based companies demonstrated they are well-positioned to lead Maine’s economic recovery post-COVID-19. These technology-based companies make up approximately $65 billion of Maine’s gross regional product, which accounts for a full 20% of our gross regional product. With the support of MTI, the State of Maine, the angel investing community, and institutional lenders and investors, these tech-based ventures will inevitably help Maine regain its economic footing.
Again, despite its many challenges, FY20 was another fruitful year supporting Maine’s dreamers and doers. I couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of the entire MTI team and the many entrepreneurs, companies and partner organizations that are working diligently each day to grow Maine’s innovation economy and provide quality employment opportunities for Mainers.
So, as 2020 concludes and gives way to 2021, I want to take a moment to express my appreciation for all the support MTI has received throughout the year and to close this message with the following quote from Tennyson, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering “it will be happier.””
My best wishes to you and yours for a happier and healthier New Year!