News & Articles

MCE's goal is to make a difference in the success of Maine scalable entrepreneurs, enabling them to accelerate their growth. Over the years, MCE's clients have emerged as leaders in their industries from world-class tidal energy technology to web design to software applications.
News & Articles

38 Startup Companies Chosen to Participate in Statewide Program

Top Gun Maine is pleased to announce the 2017 class

(Portland, ME) The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) along with its partners, the University of Maine, The Lewiston/Auburn Economic Growth Council and MaineStream Finance, announced today the members of the Top Gun Maine 2017 Class. This year marks the first year that sessions will convene in Portland, Bangor, Rockland and the Lewiston/Auburn regions, and the eighth class since the program started in 2009. 

Entrepreneurs selected for each cohort completed a rigorous application process that included submitting a pitch deck, presenting a pitch to a panel, interviews and participating in an optional PreFlight workshop series. 

“The most important component in achieving the many Top Gun success stories has been the convergence of numerous organizations and individuals across the state joining together in support of the program. Since 2009 our mission has been a simple one: bring together founders of promising startups, match them with world-class mentors, teach meaningful curriculum and expose them to the many resources Maine can offer.  The result is a program that continues to expand each year and cultivates a startup community like you see participating this year.” Susan Ruhlin, Top Gun Statewide Program Manager

Top Gun is supported by Camden National Bank, First National Bank and other corporate sponsors, local businesses, partner organizations, program advisors and mentors also contribute to the success of the program. The Maine Technology Institute has provided the $10,000.00 cash prize at the Statewide Showcase in May at the end of the program.

The following entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in each location:

Portland Class


Michael Royals - Thrivant Health, PBC

Joan Drapeau - Codeweaving inc

Julie Campillo - Radient Beginings Yoga

Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom - BreakTogether

Ryan Houghton -The Hop Yard, LLC

Richard Reynolds - GTFO Escape Room

Tristan Corriveau - The One Gallon Soap Company

Maddie Purcell - Fyood Kitchen

Megan & Patrick Selby - OnLearning Point

Emily Brackett - Branding Compass

Peter Zinn - Choomi Cookies

Susan Woods - HiTecHiTouch, LLC

Bangor Class


Joshua Henry - GO Labs Inc.

Brian Ross - Portions

Micah Beaulieu - Unrest Roasting Co.

Paige Wilcox - Wilcox Wellness & Fitness

Melissa Smith - Happy Endings/Happy Cookie

George F. McBride, Chris Suggs - Downeast Turbines

Deanna Fahey & Mary Ellen McAllister - cityLIFE nature kits

Derek Porter - House of Meeples Cafe

Lewiston/Auburn Class


Hashim A'Allah - Hallah Edutainment

Susan Thomas - SpinDoc, Inc.

Benjamin Nussbaum - AutoLink

Dianna Pozdniakov - SOFIA FIMA

Trevor Kenkel, Sierra Kenkel - Springworks Farm

Ben White - Little Beaver Development

Jared Pinkham, Aaron Hasting, Brandon Bergman - Grojo, Inc


Rockland Class


Thomas McCutchan - Versatile Metal Surfacing

David Kadonoff - Kadonoff & Associates, LLC

Bryan McCarthy - Cash Flood

Heather Symmt - Broken Egg

Jeff Wolovitz - Heiwa Soy Beanery

John DeFrancesca - Custom Skills

Judith Bernier - Podzooks

Katheryn Langelier - Herbal Revolution Farm

Ryan Howes - Northern Vertical

Tammy Smith - Tempest in a Teapot

Tom Ulichny - Midcoast Music Academy


About Top Gun and MCED: 

Top Gun is an annual program for competitively selected entrepreneurs that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings held in Portland, Bangor, Lewiston/Auburn and Rockland. Beginning with just a dozen entrepreneurs in Portland in 2009, Top Gun has now helped 140+ entrepreneurs across the state accelerate their businesses.

MCED is an independent non-profit based in Portland that helps the most promising Maine companies launch and grow through mentoring, training and connections. MCED is a founding organizational partner of Maine Accelerates Growth. 

For more information about the Top Gun Maine program or the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, please visit