Category: Top Gun GraduateSpring Point Solutions receives 2 MTI Grants
Category: Top Gun GraduateLSM Enterprises is awarded 2 MTI grants
Category: Top Gun GraduateDouble Blue Sports releases CoachCast 2.0
Category: Top Gun GraduateRevolution Research receives Tech Start Grant from MTI
Category: Top Gun GraduateAllergy Amulet closes on equity seed round
Top Gun 2015 graduate company, Allergy Amulet, just closed a $1.1mn series seed equity round.Read More
Category: Top Gun GraduateAward-Winning Bixby & Co. to Launch Craft Candy Bars in L.L.Bean Stores Nationwide
Category: Top Gun GraduateIntrospective Systems receives 2 MTI Grants
Category: Top Gun GraduateChimani goes International!!
Category: Top Gun GraduateFlowfold to partner with LLBean
Category: Top Gun GraduateWassail awarded MTI Business Accelerator Grant
Category: Top Gun GraduateMy Home Pro Network awarded grant
Category: Top Gun GraduateParent Technology Group receives MTI Seed Grant Award
Category: Top Gun GraduateRwanda Bean closes on 2nd round of Funding
Rwanda Bean closed on the 2nd round of seed funding from private investors. raising over $100,000.00.
Additionally, Rwanda has recently received a huge shipment of raw coffee, just in time to expand sales to Southern Maine this fall.
Look for a new website from Rwanda this winter for direct sales and updates on their work with the farms and farmers of Rwanda.Read More
Category: Top Gun GraduateNIH awards Maine Company, RockStep Solutions, $1.5M to develop new software system for biomedical research.
Category: Top Gun GraduateGreen Clean Maine - New Space, New Hires, New Honors
Category: Top Gun Graduateeighteen twenty wines appearing on Greenlight Maine
Category: Top Gun GraduatePika Energy Announces B Link™ Battery Converter for Integrated Energy Storage Systems
Top Gun 2012 graduate Pika Energy has introduced bidirectional smart battery converters that enable breakthrough integrated solar and energy storage solutions, the company announced in July.
Pika is a leading provider of smart power electronics for solar-plus-storage. The new battery converter opens up a new segment of the energy storage market by enabling solar equipment suppliers and installers to connect currently-available battery technology to next-generation inverters.
“We’re pleased to announce B Link, our latest product to take full advantage of the simplicity and flexibility of Pika Energy’s power electronics platform,” said Pika Energy President Ben Polito. “Until now, broad adoption of solar-plus-storage has awaited mature battery solutions with the right mix of features, form factor and pricing. With B Link, virtually any conventional battery technology ranging from lead acid to lithium ion can be used to make a highly efficient, compact smart battery ideal for load shifting, demand response and backup power applications.”
The B Link features 30-amp charging, bidirectional power flow and a peak power capacity of 8000W. The converter is designed to connect high voltage battery stacks to REbus™, Pika Energy’s patented plug-and-play 380VDC nanogrid.
“Our B Link converter does for batteries what our PV Link™ optimizer does for solar modules, allowing safe, fast, flexible integration of a large assortment of widely-available technology options,” said Pika Chief Technology Officer Joshua Kaufman.
Category: Top Gun GraduateGenotyping Center of America Joins Union River Center for Innovation
Top Gun 2014 graduate, GenoTyping Center of America (GTCA), has become the anchor tenant of the Union River Center for Innovation, an exciting new community-driven business incubator on Ellsworth’s waterfront. The move marks a milestone for the genetic testing company supplying them with the space and support they need to serve a growing and increasingly global customer base of biomedical researchers.
The August 2nd ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new incubator drew prominent guests, including U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin, and the complete cadre of Ellsworth’s business and municipal luminaries. Also present at the event was The Jackson Laboratory’s COO Chuck Hewitt, who later that day presided over the groundbreaking at Jackson’s new Ellsworth facility. Together, GTCA, the Union River Center for Innovation and The Jackson Laboratory are leading the economic revitalization of the Gateway to Acadia, which Senator Collins astutely rebranded as the “Gateway to Opportunity”.
GTCA has been rapidly penetrating an ever expanding global market for efficient and affordable methods for genome editing. As scientists are generating animal models for human diseases at an unprecedented rate the demand for genetic analysis is skyrocketing. The team at GTCA has the experience and expertise to increase the speed and accuracy of genetic testing for laboratories and institutions, allowing their researchers to concentrate on the scientific studies that will lead to the next breakthroughs to improve human health.
GTCA is now serving over 100 laboratories at more than 50 institutions around the world, including universities, independent research institutes, hospitals, government laboratories, contract research organizations, and biotechnology companies. The company is looking to enter accelerated phase of growth and is seeking funding to further expand, automate, and streamline its trademarked GTCAssure testing process. Click to learn more about the GenoTyping Center of America and the Union River Center for Innovation.
Category: Top Gun GraduateTotal Crowd Solutions Formalizes Marketing Plan, Sponsors Conference
Category: Top Gun GraduateDenVantage Website Goes Live and Hires New COO
The web-based dental membership program, DenVantage (Top Gun 2016 Graduate) has officially gone live and hired a new COO, Dan Jackson. Jackson has a long history of catapulting entrepreneurial companies in the state of Maine to success. The program was rolled out to dentists with a formal presentation by invitation to the Bangor area dentists on August 17 and is continuing throughout the state and northern New England.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRapport Wins National Awards and Invitations, Grows Customer Base
Category: Top Gun GraduateVETRO FiberMap™ Joins FISPA, Grows User Base
After highly successful national trade shows in Austin in April and Nashville in June, the VETRO FiberMap™ team (Top Gun 2015) continued it’s aggressive go to market year by joining ISP industry association FISPA and exhibiting at their Summer meeting in Dallas, TX in July. Vetro's focus on simplicity and ease-of-use coupled with a transaction based pricing model and open API architecture are proving to be true differentiators in the broadband network inventory and management software space. They have continued to sign up new small and mid sized ISPs building fiber networks as platform clients across the US and Canada.
Category: Top Gun GraduateLoyal Biscuit Continues to Grow, Relocates Its Flagship Store
Category: Top Gun GraduateGold Star Honeybees Wins Eva Crane Trust Grant
Top Gun 2012 graduate Gold Star Honeybees received grant funding from the Eva Crane Trust in July to support the creation of a web-based class on Top Bar Hive beekeeping.
GSH is looking forward to finishing the filming in time for the class to coincide with the release of founder Christy Hamenway's new book Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping,” the sequel to “The Thinking Beekeeper.”
The Eva Crane Trust was founded to advance the understanding of bees and beekeeping by the collection, collation and dissemination of science and research worldwide as well as to record and propagate a further understanding of beekeeping practices through historical and contemporary discoveries.
Category: Top Gun GraduateEterNav Receives MSBDC Award
Top Gun 2016 Graduate EterNav was the recipient of a Professional Business Services Award from the Maine Small Business Development Centers in the amount of $1,000 in July.
EterNav’s founder, Kasey Smith also reported that her company was selected in season 2 of Green Light Maine. Eternav’s episode filmed on July 14th and will air in the Fall.
Category: Top Gun GraduateSix Top Gun & Top Gun Prep Graduates Awarded $122,000 in MTI Seed Grants
Six Top Gun & Top Gun Prep Graduates were among those to receive Maine Technology Institute Seed Grants in July. MTI Seed Grants support innovative technology projects in Maine’s targeted technology sectors across ten of its counties
“The Seed Grants that were awarded this round span all seven of our state’s targeted technology sectors and exemplify MTI’s investment philosophy of supporting inventors in garages all the way up to publicly traded companies,” said Brian Whitney, MTI’s President. “We need to continue to invest in innovation to foster the development of new products and emerging businesses and to support and grow existing Maine companies and jobs.”
The six companies and their awards were:
Top Gun Prep 2015 Graduate Anchorpak
Award Amount $7,320, Portland Match Amount $7,320
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Tip Whip LLC
Award Amount $15,100, Orono Match Amount $27,840
Category: Top Gun GraduateThree Top Gun Graduates Awarded MTI Tech Start Grants in July
Three Top Gun Graduates were awarded MTI Tech Start Grants in July. TechStart Grants are available to entrepreneurs and companies across Maine who are seeking to develop their inventive ideas into new, innovative products or services. The grants are awarded monthly and may be used to support specific activities such as business plan development, intellectual property filings, market analysis, or technology transfer activities out of research institutions.
The three Top Gun companies receiving Tech Start Grants are:
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Parent Technology Group: Award Amount $3,825, Match Amount $3,825
Top Gun 2016 Graduate R M Beaumont Corporation: (Mobility Technologies):Award Amount $5,000, Match Amount $5,370
Top Gun 2016 Graduate Spring Point Solutions: Award Amount $5,000, Match Amount $9,200
The next TechStart Grant deadline is Tuesday, August 2, 2016.
Category: Top Gun GraduateKate McAleer Named One of 50 Mainers Charting the State by Maine Magazine
Top Gun 2014 Graduate Kate McAleer of Bixby & Co. was honored in July as one of Maine Magazine’s 50 Mainers Charting the Future of the State. Each year the magazine devotes an issue to Mainers who are leaders in the state, building upon the state’s assets and finding ways to leverage them to improve the lives of others.
McAleer started Bixby & Co. to provide a preservative free candy with no artificial colors, or corn syrup for consumers who care about where their food comes from. Bixby Bars, produced in Rockland, are now distributed to over 1,000 stores around the country, including Whole Foods.
When McAleer began production, she hand-dipped and wrapped every bar. With the help of MCED’s Top Gun Program, and assistance from MTI, she was able to scale production to fill larger national orders. McAleer has won multiple prizes as an entrepreneur, including the Tory Burch Foundation’s pitch competition in June which netted her a $100,000 grant.
To read the Maine Magazine article, click here.
Category: Top Gun GraduateEleven Top Gun & Top Gun Prep Grads Selected to Compete in Season 2 of Greenlight Maine
Eleven Top Gun and Top Gun Prep companies were selected in July as semi-finalists for season two of the Greenlight Maine television series. They will compete amongst a field of 26 companies selected to vie for a $100,000 cash prize in the popular weekly series beginning September 24th and running statewide via WCSH6 and WLBZ2 on Saturday nights through June of 2017.
Semifinalists will receive mentoring from some of Maine’s best and brightest corporate, media and marketing executives as well as receive extensive promotion across television, print, social and digital media. Semifinalists qualified by pitching their product/service, people, plan and processes and were scored on the criteria of: scalability, viability, feasibility, innovation and presentation.
The MCED Program Graduates to make the cut are:
Top Gun 2014 American Unagi, owned by Sara Rademaker
Top Gun 2015 Cobbler Technologies, CEO, Andrew Katon
Top Gun 2016 Eighteen Twenty Wines, founded by Amanda O’Brien and Pete Dubuc
Top Gun 2016 EterNav, founded by Kasey Smith
Top Gun 2016 Mobility Technologies, CEO, Ryan Beaumont
Top Gun 2016 Rwanda Bean, founded by Mike Mwenedata,
Top Gun 2016 Spring Point Solutions, CEO, Rick Hollen
Top Gun 2015 Tip Whip, LLC founded by Spencer Wood
Top Gun Prep 2014 McDermott Shapes, founded by Andy and Ryan McDermott
Top Gun Prep 2015 Sidewalk Butler, founded by Mike Roylos
Top Gun Prep 2015 Switchdown, founded by Jon Hanson, Durham
Last year’s winner of the $100,000 prize was taken home by Top Gun 2014 Graduate, Garbage to Garden.
Category: Top Gun GraduateBlue Ox Malthouse Called Out in WMTW Spot on Allagash Brewing’s New 16 Counties Beer
National brand Allagash Brewing rolled out its first completely Maine sourced beer, Sixteen Counties this spring, Thanks in part to TG 2014 graduate Blue Ox Malthouse (and other Maine growers of wheat and barley). In a WCSH6 spot that aired on July 7th, Blue Ox’s product was touted as one of the ingredients that not only made the brew possible, but also as that which gives the beer it’s signature flavor. The spot, featuring Jason Perkins, Allagash’s master brewer, and Joel Alex founder of Blue Ox in Lisbon Falls, addressed how the opening of malt houses in Maine has enabled the state’s craft brewing industry to finally create a truly local beer while supporting Maine farmers with a new source of income from their barley crops. To view the spot, click here.
Category: Top Gun GraduateIntrospective Systems Wins SBIR Grant, Hires New Lead Scientist in Algorithms
Introspective Systems LLC, a Portland-based company and a Top Gun 2012 graduate has been awarded a $146,683 U.S. Department of Energy grant through the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.
The project involves the company designing a new grid architecture and implementation plan for incorporating billions of Internet of Things devices (think Nest thermostats among others) into the electrical grid. The new computer architecture will be open-sourced, secure from cyber attack, support distributed energy, resilient, reliable and most importantly, backward and forward compatible so that it may be implemented over a 30 year time frame.
In other news Introspective Systems hired Trevor Gionet, Jr. as a lead scientist-Algorithms. Trevor is a recent Master in Mathematics graduate from the University of Maine and lives in Yarmouth with his wife Tess.
To read more about Introspective and the award, check out the Maine Biz article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateGarbage To Garden Takes Home 100K from Greenlight Maine Competition
Three Top Gun graduate companies competed at Merrill Auditorium in front of TV cameras on Friday, June 25th in the season one finale of the "Greenlight Maine" business competition. Top Gun 2015 graduate Garbage to Garden took home the 100K grand prize grant with it's plan to scale it's curbside composting service to new areas.
The other two finalists were Top Gun 2013 graduate Chimani (a national parks guide app-maker) and Top Gun 2016 graduate biobased products developer Revolution Research, located in Orono.
Don Gooding, the former executive director of MCED was the host of the show which was a Maine Start Up and Create Week core event. Season two of the series is already underway.
Category: Top Gun GraduateNew Clients, Colleagues, and Collaborators for VETRO FiberMap™
The second quarter of 2016 has been a time of growth for 2015 Top Gun Graduate NBT Solutions as they continue to welcome new members to their Portland and Buffalo teams and add new clients to their VETRO FiberMap™ fiber network planning and management software platform. Partners Will Mitchell and Sean Myers also made an appearance with VETRO FiberMap™ at the 2016 FTTH Connect Summit in Nashville to great fanfare. Working partnerships between VETRO FiberMap™ and FiberPlanIT, an automated fiber network planning tool, as well as Fulcrum, a mobile data collection platform, have notably expanded an already extensive suite of easy-to-use tools.
Category: Top Gun GraduateAmazon Appstore Features 34 of Chimani’s National Park Apps
With the start of June and National Great Outdoors Month, Amazon is featuring 34 of Top Gun 2013 graduate Chimani’s individual national park apps in its Appstore. The feature follows the significant announcement by Chimani one day earlier of the release of all 59 national park apps.
The Amazon Appstore is one of three major mobile device app stores — including Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. It allows users on the popular Amazon Fire tablets as well as Amazon Fire phone devices to access Chimani’s complete suite of national park mobile apps.
With the release of the remaining national park travel guide apps in time for the National Park Service Centennial season, the Amazon Appstore provides a great deal of exposure to many of the lesser-known national parks in the system.
Each of the park guides provides original information on points of interest, hiking trails, park facilities, Ranger-led events happening within the parks, and sunrise and sunset times, as well as GPS-enabled offline maps that allow the user to navigate the national parks without the need for a cell connection.
This latest app release comes in partnership with Subaru, in an effort to reduce paper waste in the national parks from traditional paper guide books.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRevolution Research Awarded Funding To Develop Eco-Friendly Foam Board
Top Gun 2016 Showcase Winner Revolution Research, Inc. was awarded funding last week from the Maine Technology Institute and the National Science Foundation to develop eco-friendly fire-retardant and water-resistant thermal insulation foam board.
Nadir Yildirim, president of the company, is a University of Maine Innovation Engineering program graduate and doctoral candidate in forest resources. His spinoff company from the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center was awarded $25,000 by MTI and $22,500 by the NSF.
Category: Top Gun GraduateEternav Participates in MSCW Exclusive Pitch Panel & Greenlight Maine Preliminaries
Category: Top Gun GraduateNorthern Maine Distilling Company Collects Awards for Twenty 2 Vodka
Top Gun 2014 graduate The Northern Maine Distilling Company has won 2 medals for their award winning vodka. Twenty 2 Vodka was awarded a silver medal at the SIP awards in San Diego, CA, and also received a Chairman’s Choice Award for winning a medal in consecutive years. Twenty 2 Crafted Expressions Vanilla Bean Flavored Vodka was also awarded a gold medal in its first year of competition. The SIP awards are unique in that spirits are tasted and evaluated completely by consumers so that results are based purely on spirit quality and not effected by industry bias.
Category: Top Gun GraduateSunriseGuide Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
Category: Top Gun GraduateGold Star Honeybees Nearly Doubles Annual Sales, Receives Grant from Eva Crane Trust
Top Gun 2012 company, Gold Star Honeybees reported it came close to doubling its annual bee sales in 2016 - launching nearly 1200 new beekeepers! The group also received a grant from the Eva Crane Trust - to support the creation of an online version of their weekend intensive class: Top Bar Beekeeping 101. Way to keep the buzz going!
Category: Top Gun GraduateKate McAleer wins $100,000 Tory Burch Foundation Award
Top Gun 2014 Graduate Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby & Co., has been named the winner of the inaugural Tory Burch Fellowship Program’s pitch competition and was awarded a $100,000 grant investment for her business.
Launched in 2015, the Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition is a year-long fellowship program offering women access to education, mentoring and networking opportunities. The initiative identifies 10 women entrepreneurs to be Tory Burch Foundation Fellows and become ambassadors for other women entrepreneurs. The group also provides an opportunity to compete for a $100,000 grant investment in their business.
McAleer founded Bixby & Company in in 2011 making chocolate bars from organic, healthy ingredients. She has won numerous awards, including Gorham Savings Bank's 2013 LaunchPad competition, the Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015, a Local Producer's loan through Whole Foods Market and a Mainebiz Next award.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRed Door Network Launches Job Listings Page on Maine Restaurant Association Website
Top Gun 2016 Graduate Red Door Network launched its Job Listings page for the Maine Restaurant Association Website in May. The site offers MeRA members an efficient and effective tool to find, qualify, and manage job candidates. Red Door Network allows restaurants to build an online database of job seekers - who complete standardized profiles that contain all the restaurant skills and experience used when making hiring decisions. Restaurants can set up an account in about five minutes and then post their job listings on the MeRA Jobs Page which is the best place for job seekers looking for restaurant employment in Maine. With Craigslist charging $25 per job listing, the site provides an economic solution to solving restaurant recruiting efforts. More details and signup information can be found here.
Category: Top Gun GraduateBen Davis of True Course Yachting Interviewed in MaineBiz
Top Gun 2016 Graduate True Course Yachting’s founder Ben Davis was profiled in Maine Biz’s On the Record column in May. Davis was interviewed by Jennifer Van Allen about his aha moment and the unique raft of services he brings to the yachting community. His company is full swing this summer, bringing its concierge services to owners of yachts of up to 100 feet. The Yarmouth company currently serves 250 customers a year and employs a staff of 16. Davis recently opened his first satellite location in Camden, and has plans to expand. Read the full article here
Category: Top Gun GraduatePEM Partners for Projects in South Africa, Saudi Arabia
Category: Top Gun GraduateTip Whip Expands in Spring Semester
Category: Top Gun GraduateAllergy Amulet Launches Website
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Allergy Amulet launched it’s website in May. The group is working to create a paradigm shift in food allergen detection to help the millions of individuals with food allergies feel safer about the foods they eat. The portable food allergen detection device is designed to detect peanuts and and other food allergens in foods while eating out.
Category: Top Gun GraduateR.e.d.d. Energy Bars Available Nationally and Raises $1 Million from Investors
Top Gun 2014 Graduate R.e.d.d. Energy Bars relaunched it’s product in May to make it nationally available with a $1 million round of funding. The funding came from investors including Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research Inc, and Greg Hanson, Founder and Managing Partner at Skyline Capital. Nordstrom and Hanson will both hold seats on R.e.d.d.’s Board of Directors and the capital will go towards marketing, production and distribution.
R.e.d.d. was founded in 2010 by Alden Blease, as an inexpensive, healthy way to eat. At the time, Blease was in college and short on cash, so he purchased bulk ingredients and blended them into his own bar line. When friends started asking to buy the bars, Blease quit school and used the funds from a car accident settlement to started a bar line called “Rawgasm.” He soon connected with distribution and manufacturing partners and raised enough capital to transition “Rawgasms” to “R.e.d.d.”—an acronym for Research Enhanced Design + Development. Read more about R.e.d.d. here
Category: Top Gun GraduateChimani Launches Latest Version of the Maine Island Trail App, Makes Finals in Greenlight Maine
Top Gun 2013 Graduate Chimani, Inc. had a big month in May. It launched the latest version of the Maine Island Trail mobile app, a guide to the unique islands and waterways along the coast of Maine.
The latest version provides boaters the ultimate mobile tool for planning a trip along Maine’s rocky coast, along with anchorages, boat launches, tide charts, campsites, hiking trails, and more. The Maine Island Trail app exists within a suite of more than 25 free National Park and outdoor destination guide apps offered by the Portland, Maine based company Chimani.
The company was also chosen as a finalist in the Greenlight Maine series, a Maine-produced reality TV show based loosely on “Shark Tank.” The champion of the pitch-off, which will be broadcast live, will win a cash prize of $100,000.
The popular National Park App also found itself featured in the iPad App Store under the “Spend Time With Mom” category during the week of Mother's Day.
Category: Top Gun GraduateJoe Walsh Speaks Out in Christian Science Monitor Re: The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage in Portland
Top Gun 2016 Graduate Joe Walsh was interviewed and quoted in a May Christian Science Monitor Article on the impact of raising the minimum wage. Portland raised its minimum wage in January to $10.10 an hour. Walsh pays employees of his company, Green Clean Maine $13 an hour. Read the full article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateSara Rademaker Featured in Portland Press Herald Article
Top Gun 2015 Graduate, Sara Rademaker was the focus in May of a Portland Press Herald feature article "Letting Little Eels Get Big in Maine". Rademaker is the founder of American Unagi, an eel aquaculture business focused on raising eels in Maine for the sushi market. Currently baby eels are shipped out of Maine to grow to full size in Asia. With Rademaker's innovative system, the eels are grown to harvest size here. Read the full article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateKate Mcaleer Wins Tory Burch Fellows Competition
Top Gun 2014 Graduate Kate Mcaleer of Bixby Bars was the winner in May of the Tory Burch Fellows Competitions. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in the United States.
The annual competition selects 30 finalists from across the country and awards 10 year-long Fellowships. Kate is the only finalist and winner from the State of Maine. She will take part in a 3 day workshop at Tory Burch and will also be given an opportunity to pitch for a $100,000 grant investment.
To read more about her win, click here
Category: Top Gun GraduateTrue Course Yachting Sets New Record for Spring Commissioning and Expands Team
Top Gun 2016 company True Course Yachting, Inc. is happy to announce that it has expanded it’s full time and seasonal crew in both their Yarmouth and Camden locations.
It’s captains are on the water and on the move as clients prepare to bring their boats north for the summer boating season. Recent deliveries include Nassau, Bahamas to Georgetown, ME onboard a 78' Desco Trawler and the transfer of a Bruckmann Abaco 40 from Jupiter, FL to Cold Spring Harbor, NY.
The company’s comprehensive Concierge Services, including their Port Captain, Delivery and Yacht Management offerings are in full swing for the 2016 season.
Category: Top Gun GraduateSBA Names James Gallagher of Whoopie Pie Cafe Maine Young Entrepreneur of the Year
The U.S. Small Business Administration selected Top Gun 2015 graduate James T. Gallagher of Whoopie Pie Cafe to receive its Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2016. In the letter nominating Gallagher, he was lauded for selling more than 10,000 whoopie pies in one month last summer while attending fairs and local shows.
Gallagher and other winners of the SBA Small Business Awards will be recognized with six other honorees at a reception May 4 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Category: Top Gun GraduateMy Home Pro Network Launches New Product, Grows Subscription Rate and Expands Staff
Top Gun 2014 Graduate Nick Pontacoloni of My Home Pro Network reported his customers are renewing at 95% and have increased their spend 33% in 2016. Feeding the sales, the company launched a new product for the Mortgage Industry to help facilitate connections between real estate agents and mortgage lenders.
The group relocated by joining the reSET Business Factory’s Startup Accelerator Program in Hartford, CT and expanded their staff with a Seed Round of funding focused on hiring sales & marketing talent. They were also approved by the State of Connecticut's CT Innovations Pre-Seed Fund and Angel Investor Tax Credit programs.
Category: Top Gun GraduateIntrospective Systems' Earthquake Location Software Integrated into the International Global Seismic Network
Introspective Systems' new Earthquake location software for the United States Geological Survey-National Earthquake Information Center, Golden Colorado is currently being integrated into the International Global Seismic Network. In testing it was shown to perform 6 times more effectively than the previous location software. This success has now interested the Air Force Tactical Applications Command for their Nuclear Explosion Monitoring effort enforcing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in Iran, India, Pakistan and North Korea among other countries. The new Bayesian Associator (Artificial Intelligence) method deployed had been first researched by Sandia National Laboratory and University of California-Berkeley but Introspective Systems has developed the first deployed system. For more information click here
Introspective Systems is a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) software company specializing in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence applications using their xGraph platform. They are currently working on Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) applications in the Oil and Gas Industry, Health Informatics, Electrical Grid and Defense
Category: Top Gun GraduateComposimold Collaborates with EvilCakeGenius.com
Top Gun 2012 graduate Composimold has joined forces with Gateaux Inc,’s “Evil Cake Genius” to create unique reusable molds for cake and chocolate mold making. The company has been working with Gateaux for over a year developing a unique formulation of reusable mold making material that will make any professional cake decorator happy with the chocolate cakes they produce.
Composimold is a re-usable, eco-friendly, mold making material safe with food, and features a smooth, flexible texture that delivers professional quality, great detail, and easy chocolate release. Comes with the stamp of approval from the Evil Cake Genius herself!
Category: Top Gun GraduateBlue Ox Malthouse Wins MTI Business Accelerator Grant
Top Gun 2014 Showcase winner Blue Ox Malthouse won an MTI Business Accelerator Grant for $24,998 with a match of $49,535 in April. Business Accelerator Grants are granted to start-up/early stage companies that have been awarded MTI Development Loans (DLs) and to companies that have recently been chosen for a federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I or Phase II grant and/or a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) award. Funds are to be used to advance new technology to market and to firmly establish or increase the scope and sustainability of the business enterprise. The grant is intended to increase the competitiveness of the company by providing funds directed at product/service commercialization, business and management team development, and company organization.
Category: Top Gun GraduateEighteen Twenty in the News
Top Gun 2016 student Amanda O’Brien of Eighteen Twenty Wine was awarded the Victoria Hilliard Donovan Award in April by MCED. The award was created by Michael Donovan and Deborah Curtis in memory of their daughter, who died in 1988. Mr. Donovan helped found MCED in the mid 1990s in his role as director of the Greater Portland Economic Development Council. The family was “proud to honor the memory of Victoria via the entrepreneurial success of women who are creating companies that benefit the state of Maine.”
O’Brien and co-founder Pete Dubuc were further honored in April with a feature in “Appel on Wine” a regular column by Joe Appel, in the Portland Press Herald. Read the article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateFoodHEALTH Wins MTI Phase 0 KickStarter
Top Gun 2016 company FoodHEALTH was awarded an MTI Phase 0 KickStarter award in April for $4,890, with a match amount of $6,000. The Phase 0 KickStarter award is a relatively new funding opportunity offered to individuals and companies seeking to submit SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals to one of the 11 federal agencies participating in the program. Awards of up to $5,000 are offered to foster and support competitive federal proposal submissions from Maine applicants. Funds can be used for external direct costs associated with preparing an SBIR/STTR proposal, such as hiring grant writers, or other subject matter experts or consultants.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRevolution Research Wins MTI Tech Grant
Top Gun 2016 Company Revolution Research, Inc, was awarded a $5,000 MTI Tech Grant in April. The awards are given to companies who are engaging technology to develop innovative new products and processes across six of our state’s seven targeted technology sectors. Speaking of the awards, Brian Whitney, MTI’s President said “What is especially noteworthy about these awards is that the MTI investments are helping leverage nearly five-and-a-half times more in private matching funds. A winwin proposition for Maine.”
Category: Top Gun GraduateAllergy Amulet Brings On First Investors, Featured in Wareable Magazine
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Allergy Amulet brought on their first investors in January and is now part of the Genera8tor accelerator, one of the top 15 accelerators in the country, located in Madison Wisconsin.
The Company was also featured in Wareable magazine in April in an article on the difference that technology can make for those who suffer from life-threatening allergies.
Category: Top Gun GraduateChimani Featured in Outdoor Section of Google Play Store
The Google Play Store is featuring Chimani's National Park app (Top Gun 2013 graduate) in the outdoor section of their site. The high level placement puts the Portland, Maine company alongside other familiar outdoor brands.
At the same time, Chimani CEO and Founder Kerry Gallivan (Top Gun 2013) will be featured in the May 2016 issue of Outside Magazine in a spotlight focusing on “The Next Pioneers” of the national parks. The issue is Outside Magazine’s National Park Centennial issue and focuses specifically on issues and trends surrounding America’s best ideas for getting outside.
Category: Top Gun GraduateTrue Course Yachting
Ben Davis, founder of 2016 Top Gun company True Course Yachting, LLC was onsite at Gold Coast Yachts in St. Croix, USVI to assist new client, Trilogy Excursions in March. Davis was there in a project management capacity to assist with the build of a new custom catamaran at Gold Coast Yachts.
In April, TCY partnered with East Coast Yacht Sales to introduce a monthly Lecture Series at their new Camden office highlighting persons of expertise in the industry. April's speaker will be Dan Betty of Bruckmann Yachts discussing the new Abaco 40.
The company’s comprehensive Concierge Services, including their Port Captain, Delivery and Yacht Management offerings are in full swing both in their Yarmouth and Camden offices as the spring commissioning season gets underway.
Category: Top Gun GraduateVETRO FiberMap™ 2.0 Software Platform Launched by NBT Solutions
Top Gun 2015 Graduate NBT Solutions announced the availability of VETRO FiberMap™ 2.0, their comprehensive fiber network planning and management software platform for Internet Service Providers and communities. The platform provides innovative network engineering and analysis features and moves traditional GIS and CAD based tools into the cloud for greater ease-of-use, scalability, and accessibility. The company, which is a current MTI Development Loan recipient, has supported the launch with the addition of three full time engineering staff in their Portland office. Nationwide sales and marketing efforts, including three major industry trade shows in 2016, have supported their goal of becoming a ‘Maine based exporter’ and a leader in the growing fiber infrastructure services market.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRestaurant Employment Solution Red Door Network Recipient of MTI Seed Grant.
Top Gun 2016 Company, Red Door Network got off to a great start in the program with a $25,000 Seed grant ($25,000 match) from MTI in March. MTI offers Seed Grants as direct investments in companies that are pioneering Maine’s future through their technology innovations. The next Seed Grant application deadline is April 12, 2016.
Category: Top Gun GraduateBiotechnology Device Developer Rockport Imaging LLC Awarded MTI Seed Grant
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Rockport Imaging LLC was awarded an MTi seed grant of $25,000 with a $25,010 match in March. The group is a biotechnology device developer and is located in the Midcoast.
MTI offers Seed Grants three times a year to support the conversion of innovative research into new products, processes, and companies. Funded activities may include proof of concept work, prototype development, field trials, prototype testing, pilot studies, or technology transfer activities.
Category: Top Gun GraduateCurbside Composter Garbage to Garden Wins MTI Seed Grant
Category: Top Gun GraduateCourse Storm Wins MTI Seed Grant
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Course Storm won a 25K Seed Grant in March with a $32,570 match. The company helps schools and other groups simplify registration for activities and classes. The Seed Grant program exemplifies the investment approach that MTI utilizes to drive innovation in the State of Maine. The awards issued in this round March were given to companies that are expected to generate new products, new employment and new follow-on investment in Maine.
Category: Top Gun GraduatePika Energy Begins Shipping of New Product and is Selected to Exhibit at ARPA-E Summit
Top Gun 2012 Graduate Pika Energy exhibited as a guest of the Pew Charitable Trust Clean Energy Business Network with some of the most innovative companies in the country at the ARPA-E Summit outside of Washington, DC in March.
The Maine based power electronics firm also announced recently that it will begin shipping its new Pika Energy Island System in the 2nd quarter of 2016. The product is is a system for connecting solar photovoltaic generation with advanced or conventional energy storage options without requiring a separate autotransformer to achieve 120/240V islanding or a separate storage interface for integrating high voltage battery storage. Read more about the product here.
Category: Top Gun GraduateTip Whip Reports Growth After Launch of Mobile App
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Tip Whip took on two University of Maine interns to help with increased business after the launch of its mobile app for Android and Apple phones in February. The business student interns, Tom Donohue and Zach Quimby, are running the operations at the UMaine campus and getting an unbelievable amount of hands on experience.
In its first month of operation after the launch, the company added 17 new drivers to keep up with demand. Five Hundred fifty University of Maine students are currently using the app and drivers provided 584 rides that safely transported over 2,000 of their UMaine peers in just one month!
Category: Top Gun GraduateRapport Increases Number of Paid Site Licenses, Hires New CTO
Rapport.io (Top Gun 2015 Graduate) kicked off their first lead generation campaign in February, growing the number of paid site licenses and monthly recurring revenue by 55%. B. Quincy Cabell replaced Interim CTO Glenn Butler, and Erica Plasse joined the company as it’s Senior Sales Consultant.
The company also built and launched a new self-onboarding wizard to reduce handholding for small accounts, allowing its sales team to focus on high-value prospects. Additionally, the environmental reporting app, launched a new feature allowing users to track any kind of material or environmental impact. The group now has 6 new companies in free trial mode, representing 30 new potential sites. Scheduled demos and proposals represent 100s of new potential sites.
Category: Top Gun GraduateLoyal Biscuit Moves, Expands Its Space in Rockland
Category: Top Gun GraduatePortland Pudgy in Maine Boatbuilders Show
Top Gun 2014 Gradauate Portland Pudgy participated in the Maine Boatbuilders Show March 18th through 20th, at 58 Fore Street, Portland. The combination dinghy, lifeboat, and yacht tender was on display at the show which was in it's final year at the show's picturesque location at the Portland Yacht Company. The annual show is “a gathering of the clan,” where attendees meet and talk with boat designers and builders of New England's most beautiful and ingenious boats.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRockstep Solutions Publicly Releases CLIMB Laboratory Information System in April
Top Gun 2015 alumni, RockStep Solutions, announced the public release of Climb, their innovative laboratory information system for biomedical research in March.
After more than a year of intense development spent working closely with top tier universities and research institutions, Climb was made available to a select few customers who had already purchased a license to get on board. The full public offering will open up to the research community this month.
As one of the top three winners at the Top Gun 2015 showcase, Rockstep became a Microsoft BizSpark Plus company. They have also been funded by the National Institutes of Health* and the Maine Technology Institute through a development loan. The company is currently seeking equity financing which will allow them to grow rapidly into the large, academic research, and pharma drug discovery market. Financing will allow RockStep to expand both their sales and technology teams needed to continue product development and hit sales targets.
Category: Top Gun GraduateWall Street Journal Tells the Story of Chimani’s Nod From Google
The Wall Street Journal used Top Gun 2013 Graduate Chimani to tell the story of Google’s app-indexing project in a February 25th article.
When Chimani’s website did so well after it launched last summer, Google took note and asked the company to test a more ambitious plan to display apps as if they are websites, so users don’t have to download them.
Though taking them up on the offer undermined the work the company had done to build a content-rich website, Kerry Gallivan, founder of the National Park Search App agreed, because search results are so valuable. “This is about the same SEO goal: How to get awareness,” he said in the WSJ article.
Since the test launched in November, the amount of time users spend inside Chimani’s apps has quadrupled, compared with a year earlier.
Category: Top Gun GraduateKate McAleer Selected as Finalist for Tory Burch Foundation’s Inaugural Fellow Competition
Top Gun 2014 Graduate Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby Bars, has been selected as one of 30 national finalists for the Tory Burch Foundation's inaugural Fellows Competition. The competition is a year-long comprehensive fellowship program that offers women entrepreneurs access to unique education, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Ten Tory Burch Fellows will be selected from the finalists at the competition. Winners become ambassadors for women entrepreneurs, while at the same time providing an opportunity for them to compete for a $100,000 grant investment for their business education, as well as other opportunities to enhance and grow their business acumen.
Category: Top Gun GraduatePika Energy Raises $2.255M in Equity Offering
Top Gun 2012 graduate Pika Energy of Westbrook has raised $2,255,028 of a $3,100,000 equity and Series A preferred stock offering. The equipment manufacturer’s offering went on sale in early February. Pika manufactures power electronics for home energy, including solar-plus-storage systems and wind/solar hybrid systems. Read the MaineBiz article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateBeer This Week Launches National App
Category: Top Gun GraduateTogue Brawn Featured in February Issue of Downeast Magazine
The ebullient Togue Brawn of Downeast Dayboat (Top Gun 2015) was interviewed in the February issue of Downeast Magazine. Her company has created a niche market for fresh Maine scallops to be delivered anywhere in the US within 24 hours of harvest. In the article she explains the unique economic value of the Maine Scallop and how she came to be named Togue. Check out the article here
Category: Top Gun GraduateRed Door Network Receives MTI Seed Grant
Top Gun 2016 class member, Red Door Network recently launched its solution for restaurants and similar hospitality businesses that want an organized and efficient way to find qualified job candidates. The seed grant will help them conduct research and development to fund, connect and grow their company, thus providing the resources to allow RDN to bring their solutions to market.
The company has also launched its Early Adopter Program: www.reddoornetwork.com/maine - to allow Maine restaurants to test out and use the software at no charge in return for their feedback. The program kicks off during the traditional slow season when restaurants have time to evaluate the features and benefits that will enable them to be better prepared when it is time to really ramp up hiring later this year.
Category: Top Gun GraduateGarbage to Garden Wins Silver Award in International Challenge
Top Gun 2014 graduate Garbage to Garden continues to pile up both national and international awards with it’s innovative take on household composting. Tyler Frank, Garbage to Garden’s founder, donned a ten-gallon hat in February to accept the Silver Prize for his company in the the Food+City Challenge in Austin Texas. The award is an international competition among business start-ups encouraging innovation in the urban food system. Finalists compete to take home a piece of the $50,000 prize package along with a package of business startup products and services.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRibbon Cutting for Blue Ox Malthouse
U.S. Senator Angus King and other local dignitaries and supporters showed up on Friday, January 22nd for the launch of Top Gun 2014 Graduate Blue Ox Malthouse’s new facility in Lisbon Falls. The 7,500 ft malthouse uses traditional malting techniques to process raw grain into malt and has the capacity to produce more than 500,000 pounds of malt annually, making it one of the placing it in the top 10 largest facilities of its kind in North America. The company said it nearly doubles Maine and New England craft brewers' access to locally sourced and produced malts. Blue Ox is certified by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners' Association for both organic and non-organic production, and this season is working with both barley and wheat.
Category: Top Gun GraduatePika T701 Wind Turbine Achieves Full SWCC Certification
The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) has granted certification to the Top Gun 2012 graduate Pika Energy's T701 small wind turbine. The T701 becomes the seventh SWCC-certified wind turbine to meet the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard.
“SWCC is pleased to add the Pika Energy T701 to our list of certified turbines,” SWCC Executive Director Larry Sherwood said. “Certification demonstrates that the turbine meets rigorous standards and has power and acoustic ratings consumers can use to make purchasing decisions.”
“Pika Energy is proud to have achieved full certification for our U.S.-made T701 wind turbine,” said Pika Energy Product Engineer Tony Nuzzo. “We believe we offer a best-in-class product and this certification is validation of our high standards for quality and performance. We are particularly proud that the T701 is officially the quietest SWCC-certified wind turbine.”
Category: Top Gun GraduateChimani Hires New Marketing and Sales Managers
2016 is off to an exciting start for Chimani, Inc. (Top Gun 2013). In an effort to nuture and promote the national park mobile app company’s connection with the national park service’s centennial celebrations, the company has hired Thomas Tash as its Marketing Manager, and Peter Domingos as its Sales Manager. Each bring a diverse skill set that will help Chimani further its growth in 2016.
Category: Top Gun GraduateCerehelix Awarded MTI Business Accelerator Grant
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) approved eight new grant applications in December 2015, totaling $82,763. Among them was, Cerahelix, Inc. (Top Gun 2009). The company received a $15,000 MTI Business Accelerator Grant with a match of $16,376.
Business Accelerator Grant Funds are used to advance new technology to market and to firmly establish or increase the scope and sustainability of a business enterprise. The grant is intended to increase company competitiveness through product/service commercialization, business and management team development, and company organization.
Category: Top Gun GraduateTip Whip Refines App, Prepares Launch
Category: Top Gun GraduateRapport on the Move
Rapport (Top Gun 2015) wrapped up an exciting year by moving into a new office space above the State Theater in Portland, bringing on two employees to expand development and selling capacity, and securing a total of $500,000 in funding to drive growth and scale in 2016.
Category: Top Gun GraduateGold Star Honey Bees Wins Good Food Award.
Despite the fact that at Gold Star Honeybees (Top Gun 2012) they say “It’s not about the honey, Honey - It’s about the Bees!” the company has won an award from the Good Foods Guild - for (you guessed it!) HONEY! Founder Christy Hamenway traveled in January to accept the award in San Francisco. The awards are meant to celebrate the kind of food people want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced.
The Good Food Awards are granted annually to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. Their annual Awards Ceremony and Marketplace is meant to honor the Good Food Award recipients and push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing the agricultural landscape and building strong communities.
Category: Top Gun GraduateRockstep Solutions in the News
Rockstep Solutions was one of the top three companies to receive an in-kind award from Microsoft of $60K at the Top Gun Showcase in June. Using all that Microsoft has to offer has paid handsomely for the Top Gun 2015 company. They were recently featured in the Boston Herald's business & Technology page with an endorsement for venture capitalists to find out more about them.
Category: Top Gun GraduateMyFreightHub.com hires chief marketing strategist and prepares for online launch
Category: Top Gun GraduateNBT expands for production launch in early 2016
NBT Solutions has expanded their engineering team, bringing onboard two new developers and another GIS Analyst, all based in Portland. The expansion will help to take them beyond their product MVP stage to production launch in early 2016. They are also working closely with marketing and sales expert (and Top Gun Mentor) Bob Feldman to refine their go-to-market strategies and processes.
Category: Top Gun GraduateSunrise Guide celebrates 10th anniversary
Top Gun Graduate 2014 Heather Chandler has published the 10th anniversary edition of her sustainability publication the Sunrise Guide. Chandler founded the publication in 2006 and has since gone on to publish Green & Healthy Maine Homes, a biannual magazine, and the Green & Healthy Maine Visitors Guide. The guides offer coupons to Maine businesses that offer sustainable products and services.
Read a Portland Press Herald article about Chandler here
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Cyndi Prince featured on on Five in Five with Gina Gomez
Cyndi Prince of Loo Hoo LLC was featured in December on Five in Five: 5 questions in 5 minutes with Gina Gomez. Prince answered questions about her best business tip, how she came up with the name Loo Hoo and her dream celebrity endorsement. Check it out on Youtube
Category: Top Gun GraduateIntrospective Systems featured in Microsoft podcast
Top Gun 2012 graduate Introspective Systems and their xGraph technology were mentioned in the nationally distributed podcast of Carl Franklin, Microsoft's Northeast Regional Director. The podcast covers the capabilities of the Microsoft Azure Internet of Things platform as part of a conversation with Jason Zander, Microsoft Senior Vice President of the Azure Platform.
In the podcast, Franklin talks about the best ways to implement IoT solutions and why the key is to not use a relational database. As an example he mentioned Introspective's xGraph technology and how it gets the intelligence to the edge of the system. Introspective Systems mentioned as a competitor of Microsoft? We love it!
To hear the podcast, click here (The mention of Introspective Systems begins at 2:55)
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Graduate Green Pod LLC wins MTI Seed Grant
Top Gun 2015 Graduate Green Pod LLC received an MTI Seed Grant of $25,000 with a $25,000 match in November. MTI Seed Grants support the conversion of innovative research into new products, processes, and companies. MTI offers Seed Grants as direct investments in companies that are pioneering Maine’s future through their technology innovations.
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Graduate Buoy Local Wins MTI Seed Grant
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Graduate Rapport.io receives MTI Development Loan
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Graduate NBT Solutions secures MTI Development Loan
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Rockstep Solutions wins MTI Business Accelerator Grants
Category: Top Gun GraduateTop Gun 2015 Graduate Maine Fresh Sea Farms wins MTI Tech Start Grant