Helping a EdTech Company Invest in Business Development

4 MERC Awards: Logic Model Creation, PR & Grant Writing, Digital Marketing, Strategic Planning


“I cannot imagine what our business would be like now without this support from MERC. Even though these appear to be small projects, they made a huge difference in the sustainability of our company.” – Michelle DeBlois, Founder and CEO


followers gained across social media channels

impressions from social posting in 2023

posts created across social media channels


ReMo is a SaaS-based ed-tech company that supports literacy educators and empowers independent readers. The web-based application helps educators spend less time managing reading data, and spend more time educating students.

As a socially-conscious startup, most of ReMo’s funding comes from grants. These grants often require a logic model – a plan for how funds are used to accomplish a specific mission.

ReMo knew they needed to create a logic model, but most of their resources were dedicated to developing the application. Marketing and grant writing was another part of the business that needed attention, but ReMo lacked the resources to gain the traction they needed to support their growth.

While they had success securing larger grants to develop their web-based application, grants don’t often fund smaller business development projects.

ReMo heard about MTI’s MERC program through two incubators they participated in – The Founders Residency at The Roux Institute, and Dirigo Labs. ReMo had also previously received MTI funding through other projects. The MERC program gave ReMo the opportunity to get funding for business development projects that they had previously been unable to devote resources to.

ReMo received four MERC grants. The first MERC grant helped ReMo develop their logic model, through the research consulting firm Edtech Recharge. Working with Edtech Recharge allowed them to develop a logic model aligned with their goals, vision, and mission. This logic model helped ReMo apply for further funding to develop their application.

ReMo had been trying for over a year to allocate resources towards marketing, including social media, earned media, and grant writing. Two MERC grants brought ReMo together with Pen-Name and Katie Kelley to kickstart this much needed part of their business. They got clear on their marketing messaging and brand identity, including consistent and templated graphics to facilitate easier social media posting. Their increased presence on social media allows ReMo to foster a sense of community, collaboration, and positive feedback for their team, mentors, and student-led groups.

Thanks in part to the previous MERC grants, ReMo was making traction, building their team, and making a big pivot. In order to support this growth, they needed a consultant to help them move forward strategically. A fourth MERC grant helped fund a day-long strategic planning session and follow-up support with Ben Welbourn – an operations and marketing consultant with specific expertise in education and technology.

Although ReMo knew many of their MERC consultants previously from attending startup/business events throughout Maine, MERC helped make sure the consultants were a great fit, and provided other potential options if needed.

ReMo Founder and CEO Michelle DeBlois credits MERC for expanding her idea of what is possible in a short-term project. She notes that the MERC projects ReMo has undertaken have acted as a catalyst for further development: “For example, the grant writer I work with also helps me research and connect with Maine researchers and professors, and these connections help to strengthen future grant applications and direct partnerships with our community. Also, I want to make sure my business does not develop silos as it grows, and by partnering with MERC consultants we can support our ReMo team while being adaptive to our evolving needs.”

MERC has helped ReMo grow by giving them the resources they need to continually develop their business. Beyond the funding opportunities, ReMo has credited MTI events like the Saas Sales Training Symposium and the Review of Maine’s Targeted Technology Sectors with helping inspire new directions for their business. The collaborative nature of the Maine community has helped ReMo develop as a business and continue to innovate.

Long-term goals for ReMo include international recognition as innovators in literacy education, and a service-first model for their business. MTI and the Maine business community are integral partners in helping ReMo achieve these goals.