Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC)

What Is MERC?

Consulting and technical assistance are vital to businesses, especially those just starting out. Although many startups are eager to enlist the help of experienced consultants, it can be challenging to find assistance that is both dependable and within budget. To help overcome those two challenges, MTI developed the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC).

The MERC database is filled with vetted, Maine-based consultants who are committed to offering support and guidance to Maine businesses. This database is used to facilitate short-term projects between vetted consultants and eligible Maine businesses, or “clients.” If a project is approved, MTI will commit to pay half the project fee, up to $15,000.

Interested in becoming a MERC consultant?

Interested in becoming a MERC client?

Where Can MERC Help?

  • Corporate Governance
  • Engineering
  • Financial
  • Marketing
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Branding
  • Public Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Human Resources
  • Organizational Development
  • Operations Management
  • Sales
  • Grant Writing
  • Custom Software Development
  • Business Analytics & Data Science

What Is An Ideal Project?

MERC projects are designed to be short-term, high-impact projects that will contribute to a company’s long-term growth plan.

The ideal MERC project…

  • Increases productivity
  • Less than three months in duration
  • Under $30,000 ($15,000 paid by MTI)

Who Is Eligible?

  • Maine-based
  • Under $2 million in annual revenue
  • Within Maine’s seven Technology Sectors
  • Meets MTI’s innovation requirement

Note: MERC Projects funded by DECD’s Domestic Trade Pilot Program have different eligibility requirements. Please see our Domestic Trade Pilot Program webpage for details.

What Is A Quality Consultant?

Ensuring the quality and reliability of our consultant pool is key to the success of the MERC program. All consultants are asked to provide references and additional background information to guarantee a history of customer satisfaction and quality service. Upon project completion, MERC clients are asked to issue a consultant performance rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work on multiple MERC projects?

Yes. You are welcome to undertake multiple MERC projects as long as funding is available. For instance, if you choose to engage in three, $10,000 projects, MTI will contribute $5,000 toward each one.

Can I use my own consultant?

Yes. As long as they are Maine-based and willing to undergo MERC’s vetting process. To learn more about the application process, please see our MERC Consultant webpage.

What is the turnaround time for MERC projects?

The average turnaround time for the MERC process is approximately five weeks. However, this timeline can vary based on several factors, such as the duration of the consultant selection process and the time required to draft a comprehensive scope of work.

Does a MERC grant count toward the $100,000 MTI grant limit?

No. MERC funding does not impact the $100,000 cap on MTI core grant awards.

Who is the MERC contact?

If you have questions or would like further information, please email our MERC Coordinator, Emily Braley or call 207-481-7047.

Workshop Presentations

Below are links to resources from MTI and our partner organizations that provide more in-depth information about the MERC program.

MERC Introductory Workshop, June 20, 2022

Hosted by the Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE), MTI’s Lead E-Resident, Matt Hoffner and MERC Coordinator, Emily Braley presented an overview of the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC) program.

Watch the workshop recording

Crafting Comprehensive Consulting Agreements Workshop, October 21, 2022

Co-hosted by MTI and the Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE), this interactive online workshop provided participants with a better understanding of well-drafted contracts, consulting agreements, and statements of work.

Watch the workshop recording