Top Gun Track

Top Gun is a four-month program that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings. Top Gun classes will be hosted in Portland, Orono, Rockland and Lewiston/Auburn. Applications for the program will open November 8, 2016 and the deadline will be January 12, 2017. Applicants to Top Gun will be required to complete a brief application, prepare and present a 5-minute pitch with slide deck followed by a brief Q & A session.

Never done a pitch before? Unsure of where to start for a pitch deck? PreFlight workshops on the basics of pitching and pitch feedback will be offered prior to the application deadline.

 

Ready to Apply? **Complete the Top Gun Application here

Top Gun Application Process

Application process:

1. Please submit this completed application by January 12, 2017.

2. Email your pitch deck (5-7 slide limit) to tgapplications@mced.biz.

3. Upon receipt of the application and pitch deck you will receive an email confirmation and instructions for scheduling your interview. Interviews will take place in each region between January 16th-20th.

 

Top Gun Class Schedule 2017

  • Top Gun

Top Gun is a program that runs annually from February through June. Participants in the program are competitively selected, promising entrepreneurs. In the program they are paired with mentors and to work on advancing their vision while also participating in high-impact weekly gatherings held in Portland, Bangor, Rockland and (new in 2017) Lewiston.

In the program entrepreneurs accelerate their progress by…

  • working closely with one to three mentors while connecting with many others who can help;

  • listening to successful entrepreneurs discuss vital topics, then applying lessons learned to their own businesses;

  • workshopping with their mentors, and peers in the program

  • sharing perspectives with others facing similar challenges; and

  • developing and practicing their pitches.

Top Gun identifies high potential entrepreneurs in Maine through a competitive application process in January. In February they are matched with mentors who help guide them as they continue to develop their innovative products, business models and companies. The classes of six to 12 entrepreneurs in each location will convene weekly for networking, workshopping and mentor meetings over dinner. Sessions can include opportunites for pitch practice, brief presentations by experienced entrepreneurs, and lively discussions about such diverse topics as salesmanship, bootstrapping, hiring, firing and legal issues.

The program concludes by bringing together a statewide community of 300 to celebrate and encourage these high potential entrepreneurial teams at the Top Gun Showcase.  Six entrepreneurs are selected through a round of semi-finals in each location to give a five minute pitch in front of panelists (which may include potential investors, business leaders, and the press). Particpants get to engage in the experience of promoting their business to a relevant and appreciative audience.

Is Top Gun right for you?

  • Previous participants have included technology companies (such as apps, cleantech and specialty materials), innovative food companies (such as mass market mead, artisanal chocolate and spelt bagels), as well as service companies with a unique twist. What binds them together are high aspirations to achieve growth through innovation.

  • Of the 140+ companies that have been through Top Gun since 2009, 40% were already generating revenue, at an annual rate of up to $1 million. Most of the rest were in product and business model development, with a handful still in research or in the product and business model definition stage.

  • Top Gun teams have included twenty-somethings, AARP-demographic entrepreneurs and every age in between.

The fee for Top Gun is $500 per team, just 10% of actual costs. 

 


 

 

 

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