PRIME Ecosystem Fund Details

When are applications due?

When Are Applications Due?

The application portal for the PRIME Ecosystem Fund CLOSED at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Who Should Apply?

Who Should Apply?

Am I Eligible for PRIME Ecosystem Funding?

The PRIME Ecosystem Fund aims to spur new programs from new and established organizations serving entrepreneurial and startup businesses in Maine. Organizations not currently based in Maine are eligible to apply; however, all grant awards must be directed toward Maine-based projects/programs which benefit entrepreneurs in Maine. Applicants need to demonstrate how their project/program will address negative economic impact of the pandemic, support innovation, and provide a catalyst for startup companies as they scale and grow in the state.

Your organization may be considered eligible for a PRIME Ecosystem Fund grant award if:

  • You have developed or have plans to develop and implement a project/program which serves Maine’s startup business community by addressing negative economic impact of the pandemic.
  • Your proposed project/program supports innovation in one or more of MTI’s seven technology sectors.
  • Your organization has funding available to match 1:1 the amount requested from the PRIME Ecosystem Fund.  
  • Your organization is – or will be – registered with the Maine Secretary of State corporate registry before award funds are disbursed.
  • Your company has a Unique Entity Identification (UEID) number. For more information about UEID numbers and how to obtain one for free, see our FAQs or click here.

Funding Opportunities

How Much Funding Can I Request?

We expect the maximum award size will not exceed $750,000 per project/program. We encourage collaborative efforts on proposed projects/programs; however, any particular organization can only serve as the primary applicant for one PRIME Ecosystem Fund application.

Multi-year awards will be considered, although MTI reserves the right to traunch awards based on project/program milestones and performance vs. plan. Federal ARPA requirements stipulate that all funds must be fully deployed and used by December of 2026.

PLEASE NOTE: Maximum award size is subject to change based on the number of valid applications received and the scoring of those applications. We do not expect all valid applications will receive awards — only those applications that exceed a minimum threshold score as determined by the review committee.

What Can I Use PRIME Ecosystem Funds For?

Funds must be used to implement the proposed project/program identified in your application Word document. Your plan should directly address the negative economic impact of the pandemic as it relates to startup companies in Maine.

Funds should be directed toward development efforts that have not yet been completed — these funds are not meant to serve as reimbursement for prior expenditures.

Suggested expenses may include but are not limited to:

  • Business-related equipment purchases (capital or expense).
  • Startup costs for new projects/programs.
  • Payroll costs and expenses for existing or new hires.
  • A pro-rata portion of rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender). 
  • Pro-rata portion of utilities payments.

How Do I Apply

How Do I Apply For PRIME Ecosystem Funding?

Step 1-Complete your paperwork

Use the Application Word Document to provide all the information requested. Download the Application Word Document, answer all the questions, then save the file. 

If you cannot access the Application Word Document, here is a PDF version of the Application Document. You can complete your responses in your preferred file format, to be uploaded into the Online Application Portal.

You must also compile electronic files for all the required documents in our checklist below.

Application Checklist

Before you access MTI’s Online Application Portal, you will need the following documents ready for upload.

  1. Completed Application Word Document
  2. Signed and dated W-9 Form (Access a blank W-9 Form HERE)
  3. Current Balance Sheet
  4. Income Statement for 2020, 2021 & 2022-YTD
  5. The federal government requires companies doing business with the government or receiving grants to have a Unique Entity ID (UEID) number. To learn more about a UEID number and how to obtain one at no cost, click here.
  6. Signed and dated Agreement to comply with all federal and state funding requirements.

Step 2-Submit your application and supporting documents online

Once you have completed your Application Word Document and compiled all required financial documents in the checklist above, you must submit your information through MTI’s online application portal, which requires you create an MTI online account with a valid email address.

MTI’s online application portal will require that you enter specific data regarding your organization directly into MTI’s online application form, and then upload all required electronic files.  

We estimate that you will need at least 30 minutes to complete the online application form, enter all required data, upload all required electronic files, sign the electronic disclosures, review your online form and complete your online application submission.

You can save an incomplete online application form and return to complete it later; however, you must return to complete your online application submission by the application deadline date — incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

MTI recommends completing the online application in one sitting, after you have compiled all required items noted above.

What if I need help

What If I Need Help With My Application?

MTI offers a number of resources to assist you with the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to questions others have asked, click here to find our FAQs.

Language Selection

You can switch the language of this page by clicking the flag in the bottom right.

Zoom Meetings

MTI will host two Zoom sessions to answer specific questions about the PRIME Ecosystem Fund application. Click here to access the Zoom session schedule.

Connect with MTI

For further guidance please email us at [email protected]. We attempt to respond to all emails within 24 hours.

What Happens After I Apply?

What Happens After I Apply?

You should receive a confirmation email shortly after your application has been submitted. 

If you receive an email notifying you that your application has been saved, it does not mean your application was submitted. Saving your application allows you to return to it later if you need to make changes. However, saving is not the same as submitting

To complete your online application please be sure to click the Submit Button after all the steps have been completed in the online portal.

After the application deadline, your application will be evaluated by a panel of experts that will score each proposal. The evaluation committee may contact applicants for additional data or clarification. The total amount of awards is dependent upon the total number of PRIME Ecosystem Fund applications received and the aggregate scoring from all reviewers.

Scoring will be based on the following four categories of assessment:

  1. Economic impact for Maine
  2. Team
  3. Value proposition and market need
  4. Implementation plan

All applicants will be notified via email regarding award determinations.  

If you receive a PRIME Ecosystem Fund award, MTI will verify that we have all the documentation needed to comply with state and federal guidelines. If we have any questions regarding your application or other documents provided, we will reach out via email for assistance. If your organization is awarded a grant, there will be a need to execute a simple grant program contract which will be personalized for the organization receiving the award. We anticipate initial award payments will be made soon after the award contracts are finalized.