ORONO, Maine — A half-day conference meant to bring together small-business owners and entrepreneurs with business leaders and University of Maine faculty will be offered by the UMaine alumni association on Friday afternoon.
At the conference, called “Making It in Maine,” alumni who are interested in opening a small business, patenting a product or are at the early stages of doing either will have the opportunity to connect with the people and services who can help them take the next step, said UMaine Alumni Association director of communications Susan Mullaney.
Mullaney said the idea is to pull resources and expertise from various UMaine programs that can help Mainers bring small-business ideas to fruition.
“There are 10 different programs coming out of different colleges that can support all kinds of different industries,” said Mullaney of the UMaine programs that will participate in the event. “What we’re trying to do is put that whole overview together.”
For example, the Foster Center for Student Innovation can advise on patenting and how to get grants for a small business, she said. The UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center can help an inventor create a prototype of a new product and the Advanced Structures and Composite Center can help with materials development.
Mullaney said the conference isn’t so much a “how-to” as it is a place for alumni to make connections and for UMaine to showcase the services it has to offer entrepreneurs in the community.
Only current students and alumni are invited to attend and there is a registration fee of $25. The event will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Buchanan Alumni House.