A network of organizations working together to achieve more.
Our partnerships are crucial to allowing us to provide the broad range of programs that we offer to help Maine businesses succeed. We are grateful for the support of all of our partners and the opportunity to work closely with such an incredible group.
Learn more about each of the companies that play an integral part in helping us succeed:
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is an industry-led, publicly-funded, nonprofit corporation that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investment for the research, development and application of technologies that create new products, processes and services, generating high-quality jobs across Maine.
MTI partners with MCE and other organizations across the state to ensure that Maine innovators and small businesses get access to a complementary system of supports that will enable them to successfully start, sustain, and grow profitable enterprises.
FocusMaine was established to strengthen and revitalize opportunity and prosperity in Maine by accelerating the creation of quality jobs within a few select, traded sectors that have high growth potential, based on global growth projections and Maine’s competitive advantages in those sectors.
These target industries include:
Using a fact-based, disciplined approach to industry development, FocusMaine acts as a catalyst for the accelerated and sustainable growth and business confidence that energize Maine’s economy. MCE’s partnership with FocusMaine was instrumental in the development of the Cultivator food, beverage and agriculture accelerator program.
University of Maine
The University of Maine System’s primary goal is to provide education and skills for a high-quality and job-ready workforce, along with science and technological innovations to diversify the Maine economy. The university also offers multiple “on-ramps” for private sector collaboration.
The Office of Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Maine helps support new and existing businesses with access to industry experts, sponsored research and development, technology transfer and commercialization. Their work helps innovation across Maine grow, which creates future innovators and new jobs, and enhances the state economy.
MCE works closely with the university and the Office of Innovation and Economic Development to help new and established businesses to grow and contribute to the improvement of Maine’s economy.
Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation
Named for Maine’s premiere entrepreneur and innovator, the Harold Alfond® Institute for Business Innovation has been established to spur economic vitality in Central Maine by nurturing the very talent that will assist in the creation of both jobs and wealth for the area.
The institute provides the platforms from which instruction, training, events, mentoring, and access to talent are all made available within the context of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is an organization of community-minded businesses that serves the greater Lewiston Auburn metropolitan area and beyond. An engine for economic vitality and enhanced quality of life, they challenge business and community to build, lead, and thrive. Through networking events, professional development opportunities, educational scholarships, and practical resources, they help professionals advance and businesses of all sizes grow. Their membership, representing more than 1200 area businesses, is the largest of its kind in Maine. The strength in their numbers allows the LA Metro Chamber to provide a collective voice, advocating for issues, influencing ideas, and facilitating conversations in support of business, commerce, and community.
Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. They recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
Department of Economic & Community Development
At the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), there are more than two dozen experts whose broad mission is to help communities and businesses prosper through a variety of programs providing everything from targeted tax relief to community block grants to tourism marketing. Whether your business wants to make a film here, bring a Maine-made product to market, expand an aquaculture project, or explore financing when moving a business to our state, their experienced staff can help.
DECD and its partners show companies how to benefit from millions of dollars in tax credits, reimbursements, R & D credits, capital loans, even direct investment. Every year, DECD helps Maine communities attract jobs and grow their infrastructure with unique financing programs.
University of Maine Graduate & Professional Center
Located in Portland but serving students and employers statewide, the University of Maine Graduate & Professional Center brings together programs in law, business, policy, and public health to train the workforce of the future and grow Maine’s economy. The Maine Center and its affiliated programs develop cross-disciplinary, experiential, and market-driven programming for graduate students in its focus disciplines. They also deliver programming tailored to the evolving needs of Maine’s civic, non-profit, business, and legal communities.
U.S. Economic Development Administration
As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation.
EDA provides economic development financial assistance to communities so they can encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in a way that works best for them. Through its network of regionally-based staff and portfolio of flexible grant tools, EDA helps communities experiencing economic distress, take control of their future and position themselves for economic prosperity and resiliency.
Union River Center for Innovation
The Union River Center for Innovation was founded in 2015 as a partnership between the City of Ellsworth and the Ellsworth Business Development Corporation, aiming to foster growth among fledgling Maine businesses and create a strong economic landscape for Maine’s Downeast area. Since its inception, the Union River Center for Innovation has housed a variety of businesses, ranging from entrepreneurs in their planning stages to already-established small businesses. The Union River Center for Innovation is proud to offer startup companies in Maine the opportunity to grow by helping to provide the resources necessary to get a business up and running.
TechPlace supports the small business development needs of early-stage companies in a collaborative environment in the heart of Maine’s midcoast region. TechPlace gives entrepreneurs a place to network with other innovators, research and develop ideas, build prototypes, test products, assemble, grow, and become successful manufacturing and technology companies.
MaineHealth Innovation Center
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of high-quality providers and health care organizations committed to the health and well-being of the communities and people they serve. As the largest health care organization in Maine and a leading health care provider serving northern New Hampshire, MaineHealth is recognized as one of the nation’s top integrated health care delivery networks.
Maine Outdoor Brands
Maine Outdoor Brands is an alliance of like-minded companies united in their desire to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. Maine Outdoor Brands is committed to working with individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors to help to drive Maine’s $3B outdoor recreation economy, and in the process, create a brighter economic future for our state.
Dirigo Labs is aimed at fostering innovation and Maine-based entrepreneurs by enhancing local resources for early-stage startups and creating curriculum and investment opportunities for maturing startups. They serve as an accelerator, a mentor collaborative, a funding catalyst, and a talent pipeline. Dirigo Labs strives to connect entrepreneurs with resources to launch well and thrive.