Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development. If you have additional questions, please contact us at 207-774-8111 or email us at info@mced.biz. We look forward to working with you!

Frequently Asked Questions about MCED

  • Tell me more about your Top Gun program.
  • Top Gun is a customized program that links the state's most promising growth-oriented entrepreneurs with our most seasoned business professionals, who use their expertise to help guide entrepreneurs in validating their business model and perfecting their fundraising presentation. For more information please visit our Top Gun page.

  • What is the Top Gun application process like?
  • The process officially starts with the completion and submission of the application form which can be found on our website. If MCED management has not already met with the company, a meeting is scheduled. During that meeting, the company is able to share more insights about the business concept and founders and to learn more about MCED.

  • Who works for MCED?
  • MCED's team is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and business development professionals, many of whom have either personally started or participated directly in starting and growing for-profit businesses. MCED's board of directors consists of entrepreneurs, economic development professionals, and professional service providers. Please explore our Community page for more information on our individual members.

  • Is MCED a government organization or a private business?
  • MCED is a private, not-for-profit organization. It is not a government agency.

  • How does MCED compare/differ from other incubators and commercial office space?
  • MCED has become a virtual business incubator meaning we offer an array of business support services and development resources.

  • Where does MCED get its funding?
  • MCED receives operating support from the state, various grants and sponsorship from the private sector. In addition, MCED derives income from its client companies that pay a fee for services provided by MCED. These revenues fund the operation of the program and enable us to provide client assistance, business development and access to capital functions.

  • What other organizations does MCED work with?
  • It's a long list! Our website lists many of the organizations we partner with to make services available to our clients. We are always adding to the pool of partners as we find additional sources of expertise. In the community, we work with many non-profit small business service providers and many professional service organizations and businesses that have relevant products and services.

  • What are the qualifications to be an incubator client?
  • The company must exist... we accept companies, not individuals who have an idea for a company. Businesses must have a scalable business model involving technology based products or services with high growth potential.  They must also have demonstrated financial resources to sustain business operations during the start-up phase (6-12 months). The entrepreneurial team must be capable and motivated and the founders of the company must be willing to fully participate in the programs. Applicants should be able to to answer the question: "How will the MCED help you?" In short, we are looking for quality prospects with a quantifiable probability of success.
  • I have a promising idea for a new service business. Will MCED work with me?
  • MCED's focus is on growing scalable, innovation-based ventures. Though we do not work with service, wholesale, consulting, or other businesses that do not those two core criteria, we will happily refer businesses on to other programs that would be a better fit. Such traditional sources include SCORE, SBDC, and state economic development agencies such as the Department of Economic and Community Development.

  • How does MCED measure its success?
    We are highly accountable to our funders and clients and periodically report on how we're doing. We measure success in several ways, including:
    The number of companies that receive business assistance via our programs, and the hours spent with those companies.
    The number of companies that receive outside funding.
    The development of innovative products and services that create wealth within the state.
    The relationships that are fostered.
    The number of jobs created. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Entrepreneurship

  • Why do so many small businesses fail and how can an entrepreneurship assistance program help?
  • According to the SBA, 50% of small businesses fail in the first three to five years. Studies show that the top two reasons for failure are management inexperience and insufficient capital. Other reasons small businesses fail include: inadequate planning, lack of market knowledge, failure to seek the advice of a professional, lack of financial planning and review.

  • What is venture capital?
  • The Venture Capital (VC) industry is a major source of funding for the entrepreneurial community. Venture capital is capital provided by outside investors for financing of new or high growth businesses. Venture capital investments generally are high risk investments but offer the potential for above average returns. In exchange for the investment, the VC firm receives an equity stake in the business. The VC also helps the business develop its management team, and takes seats on the board of the company. They generally focus on both the business opportunity the management team that is offered. 

  • What is an angel investor? 

  • An Angel investor is a person who provides financial backing to very early-stage businesses or business concepts. Angel Investors are typically entrepreneurs or executives who have become wealthy. Often these individuals are looking for a higher rate of return than would be given by more traditional investments and will be looking to play an active role in the management of the company. Instead of investing in the stock market or mutual funds, Angels take high risk investments with new companies.