The application portal for the PRIME Ecosystem Fund CLOSED at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Award announcements were made at the end of December 2022. Please understand additional time will be required to process awards and distribute award payments.
Goals and Purpose of the PRIME Ecosystem Fund
The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided Maine with a significant amount of discretionary funding to help businesses and organizations recover from the effects of the pandemic. In July of last year, the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan was passed by the Maine State Legislature which allocated these dollars to a wide range of programs and industries across the state. The legislature allocated almost $40M for the support of technology businesses in the state, to support and leverage private investments in research, development, and innovation to help Maine organizations increase revenues, create and preserve jobs. Earlier this year, MTI disbursed an initial round of grant funding known as the Pandemic Relief for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME Fund I). PRIME Fund I provided $23M of direct support to businesses across Maine. We are now ready to launch the PRIME Ecosystem Fund to support partner organizations in the Maine startup community. Approximately $5M in funds will be available to awardees for use in 2023 and beyond.
The purpose of the PRIME Ecosystem Fund is to spur the development of programs that directly address negative economic impacts of the pandemic and support innovation in Maine’s technology sectors. Organizations not currently based in Maine are eligible to apply; however, all grant awards must be used for Maine-based projects/programs that benefit entrepreneurs in Maine. Applicants shall demonstrate how their project/program will address the impact of the pandemic and provide a catalyst for startup companies as they scale and grow in the state. The ideal applicant has a demonstrated track record of success, supported by metrics. Additional consideration is given to applicants that strategically partner with other organizations to expand their strength and reach within sectors and across Maine. Organizations may submit only one application in which they are the lead applicant; however, they may participate on multiple applications where other organizations are the lead.
Grants may be approved for multi-year projects/programs. MTI reserves the right to annually traunch multi-year awards based on project/program performance. PRIME Ecosystem Funds must be utilized by December 2026.
The PRIME Ecosystem Fund is a competitive application process which requires matching co-investments on behalf of applicants. Awards will be made to a subset of eligible applications that demonstrate satisfactory adherence to the project/program mission. MTI has allocated a total of $5M to this round of funding, and MTI anticipates individual awards will not exceed $750,000 per project/program.