MTI awards $1.6 million to 27 innovative Maine companies

Posted July 24, 2013, at 4:43 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Maine Technology Institute on Wednesday said it awarded a slate of grants and loans totalling $1.66 million to 27 Maine companies during the year’s second quarter.

The awards — ranging in size from $1,116 to nearly $500,000 — will help entrepreneurs and companies develop innovative products in the following sectors: biotechnology, advanced composites, environmental technology, marine and aquaculture, forestry and agriculture, precision manufacturing and information technology, according to a news release. All awards require a one-to-one financial match.

“We congratulate these entrepreneurs and businesses who are using innovative technologies to develop their products or services,” said MTI President Bob Martin. “We look forward to helping them along the path to success to grow profitable enterprises.”

MTI provided Development Loans of up to $500,000, which are awarded three times a year to companies that need help commercializing products, to the following five companies:

• Ecoshel Inc., which recently relocated from Georgia to Ashland, has received $249,500 to help bring its patented cedar shingle panel system to the home construction market.

• AboGen LLC, a biotech company in Portland, has received $250,000 to help commercialize products related to the collection, isolation and preservation of blood cells in saliva.

• Wentworth Technology in Saco has received $499,475 to commercialize a new wireless communications solutions for the fast-food restaurant industry.

• Introspective Systems, located on Peaks Island in Portland, has received $151,128 to help bring two products to market that help architects and builders work with sustainable design and materials.

• Aware Technologies, a software company in Portland, has received $250,000 to help with final product development and commercialization of a streaming predictive analytics platform for the industrial automation market.

The following 10 companies received Seed Grants of up to $25,000, which are awarded three times a year to companies for advanced product design and development.

• The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor received $25,000 to help in its develop of a treatment that has been shown to accelerate wound healing in mice.

• Maine Coast Sea Vegetables in Franklin received $19,842 to help develop seeded nets and ropes for the aquaculture production of seaweed products, including nori, kelp and dulse.

• McDermott Shapes LLC, a surfboard manufacturer in Freeport, received $25,000 to produce in collaboration with the Composite Engineering Research Lab at Southern Maine Community College an environmentally friendlier and cost-effective surfboard manufacturing process.

• Auburn Enterprises LLC in Greene received $25,000 to develop a new modular construction concept for the residential and commercial building sector.

• Ed Cote, a sole proprietor in Minot, received $3,953 to help develop a new concept for composite, modular pickup-truck caps.

• Freeport Metrics in Portland received $25,000 to complete the design and development of web-based visual estimating software to help floral designers collaborate remotely with clients using a mobile interface.

• Globeco Maine LLC in Scarborough received $25,000 to develop an affordable, reusable antimicrobial cleansing tool.

• Parent Technology Group in Windham received $25,000 to help develop in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine technologies that improve the performance of photovoltaic textiles.

• Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Brewer received $24,154 to develop a disposable blood pressure cuff sleeve made from a nonwoven material that would reduce infection and improve patient safety.

• Cloud 9 LLC in Cape Elizabeth received $16,987 to help it continue developing technology that address language problems in software specifications and software engineering development.

The following 12 companies were awarded TechStart grants of up to $5,000 during the second quarter to help investigate new technologies:

• Portland Tool Works in Cape Elizabeth received $2,000 to explore the production of a tool for electricians that would dispense insulated wiring.

• UgoOut Network in Lewiston received $1,825 to design a digital platform for restaurant and bar owners to create, manage and deliver content to patrons through a dedicated channel displayed on a television monitor and through smartphones.

• Blue Ox Malt House in Old Town received $1,116 to help start up malting operations to serve the state’s brewing and distilling industries.

• Beltane Solar Inc. in Topsham received $2,900 to help commercialize patent-pending technology that can create electricity and freshwater out of saltwater using only sunlight.

• Maine Standard BioFuels in Portland received $5,000 to help develop a powerful degreasing soap from a by-product of the biodiesel process.

• Furnace in Portland received $5,000 to help it develop a business plan around the production of innovative wetsuits.

• Bragdon Farm LLC in Vassalboro received $5,000 to help it further develop an innovative product that converts waste hay into fire logs.

• Bruce Brown in Jefferson received $5,000 to help obtain a design patent and commercializing plan for a unique shim screw designed to improve the installation of doors and windows.

• Maine Aerospace Consulting LLC in Falmouth received $5,000 to perform research and development in collaboration with Stillwater Supercomputing Inc. of an on-board, customizable intelligence solution for small, high performance robots and unmanned aerial systems.

• Fire Lane 17 LLC in Weld received $5,000 to help develop a cloud-based, software-as-a-service product to assist organizational leaders and managers to be a more effective managers.

• NBT Solutions LLC in Portland received $4,900 to help develop a Web-based, geospatial fiber-optic planning and management tool for companies expanding their fiber-optic footprint in the wake of federal and state initiatives.

• 4370 Labs in Portland received $4,000 to help develop a mobile application called Goals-with-Friends, which is designed to help people accomplish personal goals by helping users track their progress and interact with friends in the process.

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