June 12, 2017
Eight participants from the Bangor, Rockport, Lewiston/Auburn and Portland Top Gun classes, representing the first and second place finishers from their respective regional pitch-off events, competed for a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by the Maine Technology Institute. Additionally, Joshua Drew of Microsoft awarded an in-kind prize valued at over $120,000 to the highest scoring tech company. Entrepreneurs presented 5-minute pitches to a panel of judges followed by a brief question and answer period. Scoring was based on presentation, innovation, scalability and feasibility.
The winner of the $10,000 cash prize was Michael Royals of Thrivant Health. Thrivant Health is creating a drug-based alternative to surgery to achieve animal sterilization.
The Microsoft BizSpark prize was awarded to Jared Pinkham, Aaron Hasting, Brandon Bergman of Grojo, Inc. Grojo is building an open, connected hardware and software platform that allows small scale indoor growers to control, automate, and monitor their gardens from anywhere in real-time.
Over 200 enthusiastic supporters attended the MCED’s Top Gun Showcase 2017. Tom Rainey, Executive Director of MCED stated, “it was truly inspiring to see the level of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial courage these companies exhibit. We expect great things from these brave entrepreneurs.”
Other finalists presenting were:
1. City Life Nature Kits - Orono
2. Sofia Firma - Lewiston
3. Girl Zone Fitness - Orono
4. Herbal Revolution - Rockland
5. Branding Compass - Portland
6. Tempest in a Teapot - Rockland
The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development provides Top Gun, an intensive 15-week entrepreneurial training program, as a virtual business incubator for Maine startups.
The annual program is designed for competitively selected entrepreneurs that combine mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings held in Portland, Orono and Rockland and the Lewiston/Auburn region. Beginning with just a dozen entrepreneurs in Portland in 2009, Top Gun has now helped over 144 entrepreneurs across the state accelerate their businesses.
For more information about the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, please visit:www.mced.biz.