Maine's first food, beverage, and agriculture scale-up accelerator program.


What to Expect

Participants are led by a full-time program manager with 20+ years of food industry experience, who works directly with member companies to understand their business, and closely monitor company needs and progress. Cultivator companies can expect the following upon acceptance:

Timeline

Cultivator is a 12-month program which begins in April each year, starting with a Kick-Off workshop and company assessments. The program wraps up with a Showcase Event in March of the following year.

Eligibility

Applicants should be food, beverage, or agriculture companies who:

  • Have a proven value-added product and scalable business model

  • Have achieved an annual revenue of $500k+

  • Are looking to grow and scale 

Participants in the program are competitively selected scalable companies. Applicants are required to undergo an intense application process, followed by an in-depth panel interview, to ensure we are providing our expertise and resources to companies with the heart and destination to succeed. All ages and experience levels are welcome to apply.

Main Program Elements

Cultivator elements include an initial business assessment, action plan, coaching and mentoring, access to consultant support, and industry-focused workshops and events.

Individual Company Business Assessment

The program begins with an internal and 3rd party assessment to identify gaps and needs to allow businesses to scale-up to the next level.

Prioritized Action Plan

Based on assessment results, an agreed-upon action plan and ongoing milestone tracking will be developed to ensure accountability for deliverables.

Coaching & Mentoring Through MCE’s Maine Mentor Network

MCE’s Maine Mentor Network (MMN) is made up of over 125 seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals from a range of industries and with a variety of business experiences. MMN mentors are matched to appropriate participants to address difficult client needs.

Connection to Additional Fee-based Executive or Consultant Support

MCE will source any contracted expertise needed beyond the general Maine Mentor Network base coaching and mentoring.

Targeted Cohort Workshops & Learning Events

Participants will attend industry-focused workshops and learning events tailored to meet specific Cohort needs and interests.

Increased Visibility to Business Community

Participants will also receive increased exposure to the business community through program marketing, networking events, and the annual Showcase Event.

Annual Showcase Event

Cultivator participants will showcase their business to an audience of potential investors, business leaders, and journalists at the end of the program.

 

The application process for Cultivator 2018 is CLOSED. 2019 application coming soon!

Program Contact Information

For additional information about MCE’s Cultivator Program, contact: Sue Hanson, Program Manager via email, shanson@mced.biz, or via phone at: 207-841-6098.

Investment

The Cultivator program offers remarkable value to businesses looking to scale and grow, and at an affordable price. Through the support of MCE’s generous sponsors, we offer this 12-month program at a reduced cost of $2500 per company.

Results

The Cultivator program launched in April of 2018 with a cohort of 10 companies: Bangs Island Mussels, Belle Cove, LLC, Black Dinah Chocolatiers, CommonWealth Poultry, Crown O’Maine, Mousam Valley Mushrooms, NorthSpore, Two Fat Cats Bakery, Vena’s Fizz House, and Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections. Read more…

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Stacy Begin, owner of Two Fat Cats…

in the kitchen at the India Street location. In 2012, Begin and her husband, Matthew Holbrook, bought the bakery from its original owners. Since then, revenue has doubled and the couple opened a second location in South Portland.

Cultivator Council of Advisors

The Cultivator Council of Advisors is comprised of C-level executives with food, beverage or agriculture experience. These executives are connected to various resources that are critical to the growth and scale-up of Maine food companies and serve as ambassadors supporting the Cultivator program and member companies.

 

Steve Culver

Two Lights Group Consulting

Taja Dockendorf

Pulp+Wire

Mark Dvorozniak

Marketing Strategy Decisions

Sue Hanson

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs

Darrell Pardy

Thos. Moser

Anthony E. Perkins

Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson

Tom Rainey

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs

Meghan Stasz

Grocery Manufacturers Association