Working with MTI
The new MTI Investment Process is more fluid than it was before. Clients may apply for funds at any time and we no longer have multiple funding programs with specific filing deadlines. We now have one core funding program and accept proposals on a rolling basis to provide more tailored support and more customer-centric service to maximize MTI’s impact in Maine.
MTI offers grants, loans, equity investments, and services to businesses, organizations, and individuals that work within one or more of the seven targeted technology sectors or in building support systems for innovation in Maine.
Here’s what you can expect, whether you’re a new or returning MTI client.
No matter how you come to MTI, you will be asked to complete our Online Interest Form first. This may be done as part of a conversation you have with one of our referral partners, or you can complete it yourself. Before you get started, we also encourage you to review our qualification guidelines and to complete a company self-assessment using Abaca, an online version of the VIRAL® framework MTI uses to help understand the enterprises we serve.
Within 5-8 business days, you will hear back from an MTI staff member. This MTI staff member will serve as your advisor and primary contact going forward. If we think you are a good match for MTI right now, we will schedule an initial meeting. The first meeting may be in person or on the phone and you may be asked to provide relevant information in advance such as a business plan, pitch deck, draft proposal and your VIRAL® (Venture Investment Readiness & Awareness Level) assessment if completed elsewhere.
During your initial MTI meeting, your MTI advisor will learn about your goals and conduct a VIRAL® assessment. This tool is a way to measure the maturity of an organization or business across eight different areas including the development of the product, team, business model, scalability, value proposition and market size. While the tool is focused on venture-investment readiness, we believe it is applicable to nearly every type of organization and at every stage of development.
Our goal is to be able to advise you on what types of work are likely to be approved and how much MTI funding you are likely to qualify for. You will also learn about the expectations associated with MTI funding, and if you’re ready, your MTI advisor will provide access to the application materials.
If you are not a good match for MTI right now, we may refer you to one of our partner organizations. Additionally, you can find and connect with resources tailored to your VIRAL® level and type of company in Abaca.
MTI has gotten rid of application deadlines. You may complete our online application on your own schedule and you may save the application and come back to it later. During the process, your MTI advisor can answer any clarifying questions you may have.
The application is a mix of written questions and data about your innovation, your company, and your goals for your business. Every application will require:
- Disclosure of all Intellectual Property—such as patents, copyrights, or other intellectual property—related to your project
- A Budget—the expected costs for the project under consideration and where matching funds and/or in-kind contributions will come from
- Scope of Work—the activities to be done, the deliverables, and the timeline
Larger funding requests, whether that amount is a single request or cumulative over time, will require additional information which may include:
- A visual timeline or Gantt chart of your path forward
- Financial Statements: balance sheet, profit & loss statement and statement of cash flows covering 3 years
- Information on key partnerships
- Details of completed customer discovery
- Prototype and/or pilot program information
Once you submit your application, you’ll receive confirmation of its receipt by your MTI advisor and the application enters the Review stage.
Should you decide not to pursue an application within 90 days of receiving an invitation to apply, please notify your MTI Advisor so we can adjust our records accordingly.
MTI’s review timeline is fluid and depends on the amount of funding requested. After MTI receives your application documents online, your MTI advisor will provide you a timeline for expectations regarding your application review process. In some cases, small grant requests can be approved within 1 month, while larger funding requests require additional due diligence, extending 2 – 3 months. The review timeline may be more protracted if additional details or clarifications are requested of the applicant. Matching funds may begin to be accrued at your own risk, as of the application date on the receipt confirmation email. Your MTI advisor will make every effort to keep you informed along the review process but please resist checking in for updates; we will notify you as soon as we can.
Your MTI advisor will contact you with MTI’s funding decision and any conditions associated with it. The contract package will be prepared and emailed to you for review and sign. Once you’ve returned it to MTI, it will be countersigned and payments scheduled. Congratulations!
On those occasions when MTI decides against funding a project, you will be informed by your MTI advisor along with feedback regarding why your application was not approved. In some cases, you will be able to reapply once specific factors have been addressed, in others, the decision on that project will be final. You may also be referred to other programs or partners that would be a better fit for your project than MTI.
While you can reach out to your MTI advisor whenever you like, they will reach out to you quarterly to check in on your progress. For larger projects, milestone reports may be required from you for each scheduled distribution of MTI funds (based on your original application). For all funded projects, a final report is required to confirm achievement of the original proposed Scope of Work.
MTI’s goal is to continue to support your work. Your project reporting may be the start of a request for your next round of funding, but be aware that if your reporting is overdue, no additional funding will be considered.
In addition, all MTI clients will be required to submit annual impact reports via our online portal for 5 years post-award.