Gorham energy tech startup wins $30,000 business plan competition

Pika Energy in Gorham has received $30,000 for winning LaunchPad, Gorham Savings Bank's business plan competition. Ben Polito, co-founder and CEO of the company, said the money will be used to move into commercial space where the company will manufacture its residential wind turbines.
Pika Energy in Gorham has received $30,000 for winning LaunchPad, Gorham Savings Bank's business plan competition. Ben Polito, co-founder and CEO of the company, said the money will be used to move into commercial space where the company will manufacture its residential wind turbines. Buy Photo
Posted April 12, 2013, at 4:58 p.m.
Last modified June 06, 2013, at 6:26 p.m.

GORHAM, Maine — Pika Energy has won the inaugural LaunchPad competition, a business plan competition sponsored by Gorham Savings Bank, and intends to use the $30,000 award to move into commercial space.

Pika Energy, which has developed a wind turbine for residential use, will use the funds to move into a real commercial facility, said Ben Polito, co-founder and president of Pika Energy.

“Fundraising is one of the toughest parts of starting a company, and we’ve saved a lot of money by designing and testing our products in our basement,” Polito said. “But we’re bursting at the seams and we need space to grow, and the LaunchPad prize will help us move into a real commercial facility as we prepare for product launch.”

Polito said the company hasn’t picked out a spot yet, but is looking at a handful of places. He did say the company plans to stay in the “Portland-Gorham area” and expects the business will set up its facility this summer.

Pika won out over two other finalists in a public vote to determine a winner. The other finalists were Green Bee Soda in Brunswick and Atayne, an outdoor and athletic apparel company in Brunswick.

The three companies received roughly 6,000 votes, with Pika receiving the most.

“Pika Energy stood out during each phase of the competition and exemplifies the entrepreneurial thinking LaunchPad celebrates,” Chris Emmons, Gorham Savings Bank’s president, said in a statement. “They are a local company with a clear vision on how to stimulate Maine’s economy and make a difference in their industry.”

The bank plans to make the business plan competition an annual event.

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