Accelerate your business growth with Top Gun.
Of the 200+ companies that have been through Top Gun since 2009, 40% were already generating revenue, at an annual rate of up to $1 million. Most of the rest were in product and business model development, with a handful still in research or in the product and business model-definition stage.
What to Expect
First and foremost; expect to put in effort and to be challenged at every turn. In addition to keeping your expectations high (for both the program and your business), you can expect the following as a participant in the Top Gun program: Access to a cultivated mentor network with over 150 business professionals, high impact learning, weekly gatherings and pitch coaching and events.
Top Gun is a 15-week program that combines hands-on mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings. The program runs annually from February to May, with the application process starting in late Fall of the year prior. *Note that the timeline for 2020 below may be subject to slight changes due to weather events.
|11-Jan-20||Saturday Statewide Session||Mentor Swarm – Waterville|
|5-Feb-20||Session 1||Kick off session in each location (VIRAL Assessment)|
|12-Feb-20||Session 2||Customer Discovery|
|19-Feb-20||BREAK – School Vacation Week|
|26-Feb-20||Session 3||Strategic Marketing/Customer Adoption|
|29-Feb-20||Saturday Statewide Session||Pitching Class – Bangor|
|11-Mar-20||Session 5||Make a Customer Not a Sale|
|25-Mar-20||Session 6||Wrapping Your Head Around The Numbers|
|28-Mar-20||Saturday Statewide Session||Data/Consultants – Portland|
|1-Apr-20||Session 7||The Four Colors of Money|
|8-Apr-20||Session 8||Avoiding Legal Pitfalls|
|15-Apr-20||Session 9||Building the Team / Company Culture|
|22-Apr-20||BREAK – School Vacation Week|
|29-Apr-20||Session 10||Life After Top Gun Roundtable|
Participants in the program are competitively selected, promising entrepreneurs. 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 startups with the heart and destination to succeed. All ages and experience levels are welcome to apply.
Main Program Elements
Top Gun elements include mentorship, lessons from successful entrepreneurs, workshopping, discussions, and pitch development and practice, all of which occurs during high-impact weekly gatherings held in multiple locations across the state.
Participants work closely with one to three mentors, who provide guidance and answer questions along the way, while also connecting with many others in their industry who can help them to achieve their goals.
Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs
Top Gun participants are given the opportunity to listen and engage with successful entrepreneurs as they discuss vital business topics, and then apply what they’ve learned to their own businesses.
Participants workshop with their mentors and other peers in the program throughout the four-month period to come up with strategies and plans of action to accelerate their businesses.
Participants share and discuss their unique perspectives with peers facing similar challenges and issues, with a goal of brainstorming better ways to address and overcome the obstacles they face.
Participants work together with mentors and peers to develop effective pitches, and to practice delivering them in a powerful and action-inspiring manner. Mentors provide successful pitching techniques, as well as guide and provide feedback to participants throughout the program.
Annual Showcase Event
Top Gun participants will have a chance to deliver their pitch or showcase their business to an audience of over 300 potential investors, business leaders, and journalists, and may even walk away with the $25k prize!
Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Top Gun Showcase:
A very special congratulations to the 2019 Top Gun winners, Sticky Sweet and Neuright. Each company took home a $25,000 cash prize, sponsored by Maine Technology Institute and the David E. Shaw Family Foundation.