MCE helps innovators fill in the gaps between their deep industry expertise and the strategic business skills critical to launching a scalable, sustainable venture. Maine's unique economic and geographic challenges demand more that a traditional business incubator. They demand a catalyst.

Scholarship Story

Who are the entrepreneurs who would like a Top Gun Prep scholarship?  

Joel Alex is one. He grew up in Old Town and graduated from Colby in 2008. He started Blue Ox Malthouse in April of 2013 to bring high quality craft malt processing to Maine. The idea is to source local and regional grains primarily for wholesale markets in the regional brewing, distilling, baking, and confectionery industries. Malts are a grain-based ingredient essential to the production of beer, whiskey, malt vinegar, and other specialty foods, and malting is the process of altering grain chemistry through germination and kilning. Malt processing in Maine would capitalize on growing demand for locally sourced ingredients with the burgeoning Maine craft brewing industry which, as of 2013, includes 38 brewery operations and has seen annual growth rates above 20% for the past 3 years and output nearly double since 2009.

Currently, all malt used in Maine is imported from Canada, the Western half of the United States, or Europe despite the fact that nearly 14 million pounds of malting barley is grown in Maine annually and shipped over to Canadian markets to be processed. Capturing and processing this in state will provide Maine brewers, distillers, and other specialty food processors with comparable product that is 100% locally sourced and processed. The company is currently in an early startup phase completing R&D activities and building the funds and capacity to establish a physical facility and bring the product to market.

He’s already invested his own cash in the company, and is leaning on a network of family and friends along with his day job to keep moving forwards. He really wants the benefits of Top Gun Prep. Your support could help make that happen! Please contribute to our Indiegogo scholarship crowdfunding campaign:

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