1st round of stimulus grants to Maine small businesses to be awarded Friday

(From Bangor Daily News) As part of the federal CARES Act Fund, some 2,000 Maine small businesses and nonprofits that experienced coronavirus-related business losses will hear whether they will receive a federal stimulus grant as early as October 9. The economic development department has partnered with MTI and other organizations to help review applications for the second round of grants. Read more »

Mainely Succulents wins Bangor Big Gig pitch-off

(From Mainebiz) Lauren Tuell, owner of Orono-based Mainely Succulents, won $5,000 in the Bangor Big Gig pitch final competition. Mainely Succulents partners with businesses and other organizations on workshops and education, as well as sells plants and related products. Big Gig is sponsored in part by MTI. Read more »

Maine gets $2 million to help advance offshore wind power

(From Portland Press Herald) The Governor’s Energy Office is receiving more than $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to advance an economic roadmap aimed at creating jobs and growing talent in Maine, with a focus on floating technology. The grant will be matched with $267,624 in state funds and $112,457 in local funds, including funding from MTI and in-kind contributions from the University of Maine. Read more »

$2.2M in USDA funds awarded to help grow 11 Maine small businesses

(From Mainebiz) Eleven Maine agribusinesses and farms will receive a total of $2.2 million in federal funding to help them grow their capacities and expand into new markets. The Value-Added Producer Grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program will help the businesses enter into value-added activities related to processing and marketing of new agricultural products. Read more »

Maine’s space era ready for lift off with $445K grant for spaceport study

(From Mainebiz) The Maine Space Grant Consortium has been awarded a $444,900 federal grant to develop a strategic plan for the Maine Spaceport Complex. Using the Brunswick Landing campus as mission control, the program would launch small satellites from Commerce Park in Presque Isle. Funded by MTI and NASA, the consortium is conducting a study on the market feasibility of the program.
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Brunswick aerospace company sets date for rocket launch

(From Times Record) Brunswick-based bluShift Aerospace plans to launch its 20-foot rocket from the former Loring Commerce Centre on October 21. The company hopes the launch will serve as a springboard into building the aerospace industry in Maine. To power rockets, bluShift is manufacturing a biologically-derived fuel made entirely from materials that can be grown on a farm. NASA awarded the group a Small Business Innovation Research grant of about $140,000 which paved the way for MTI and a private investor to pour nearly $200,000 into the launch.

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After winning $225K grant, Orono startup moves ahead with ocean-friendly drink lid

(From Mainebiz) Paramount Planet Product was awarded a $225,000 National Science Foundation grant through the SBA's Small Business Technology Transfer program. MTI's technical assistance team, led by Karen West, helped with everything from choosing the right funding to completing the application. The startup aims to cut ocean pollution with low-cost, recyclable plant-based drink lids as an alternative to plastic. Read more »

Lewiston-Auburn teachers’ literacy app wins statewide Top Gun pitch-off

(From Sun Journal) The 2020 Top Gun Showcase top prize went to Lewiston Middle School teacher Michelle DeBlois and Auburn Middle School teacher Kathryn Lariviere. The $25,000 award provided by Maine Technology Institute will help continuing development of their literacy app, ReMo. This web application will allow teachers to track the flow of books in and out of the classroom along with students’ progress and also help lesson planning. Read more »

Maine business relief grants launch; federal help sought for state, local governments

(From Mainebiz) Beginning September 23 the state will launch a second phase of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program for small businesses and nonprofits. Up to $5 million will be dedicated to support the viability of businesses less than a year old. MTI will lead the application review and financial disbursement of awards in its sectors. Grant applications will be accepted through October 23, with awards announced in November. Read more »

Two Maine organizations awarded federal innovation accelerator grants

(From Mainebiz) Waterville's Central Maine Growth Council and Portland-based Maine Center for Enterprise Development have been awarded grants that support creation of rural innovation hubs. The Waterville grant will be used to create a startup accelerator, Dirigo Labs. The award is in addition to local matching funds, including a $300,000 cash grant from MTI. Read more »