September 27, 2018 | President’s blog

As a regular reader of the MTI eNews, I am sure you recall my June blog https://www.mainetechnology.org/blog/exciting-changes-coming-to-mti-this-fall/ where I outlined a new MTI organizational approach to funding innovative projects in the State of Maine.

Starting in August, MTI shifted from a suite of siloed funding programs with strict application deadlines and rigid requirements to a more customer-centric funding approach that provides entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations with a more tailored funding method.  Gone are all the MTI application deadlines.  We now employ a fluid funding process with rolling submissions and no deadlines.  All funding is tailored to the needs of the innovators.  And, depending upon the level of funding being sought and diligence needing to be performed, funding decisions will come much more rapidly than before.

These changes all resulted from a thorough strategic planning process that incorporated a great deal of feedback from our customers, partners and stakeholders across Maine.

A significant component of MTI’s new funding approach is the utilization of an investment readiness assessment tool.  MTI, as one of the first steps in its new funding process, will be utilizing the Venture Investment Readiness & Awareness Level or VIRAL® assessment tool. Created by Village Capital, VIRAL is a self-discovery tool for innovators to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and areas where investment could help accelerate their innovation.

The tool evaluates 8 different areas along the VIRAL pathway – – team, problem and vision, value proposition, product, market, business model, scale, and exit – – and provides a baseline and follow-on assessment to measure the progress being achieved by the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations that receive MTI funding.

MTI is looking to its partners and stakeholders in Maine’s innovation economy to work with us to learn about and better understand the VIRAL pathway and to potentially assist MTI applicants with performing the self-assessments.

To that end, MTI and Village Capital will be inviting our partner entities to join us for an afternoon learning about the VIRAL® assessment tool.  Village Capital will be joining MTI at two half-day sessions to introduce and train our strategic partners in Maine on the tool and how MTI will apply the assessment to its funding process. We believe that understanding how this tool works and being able to use it will be an asset to both our partners and our mutual clients.  The sessions will be held on October 22 in Portland and on October 23 in Bangor.  Each session (times and locations to be announced) will be followed by a networking reception hosted by MTI.

For more information, please contact [email protected].


Brian Whitney