Our Katahdin to join new statewide startup business effort

Posted Sept. 17, 2015, at 1:33 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Katahdin region economic development group Our Katahdin has joined a new 10-year initiative aimed at growing the state’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem” to help new businesses get their start.

Jess Knox, who led a three-year $3 million business incubator project funded by the Blackstone Foundation, announced Thursday the launch of a new project called Maine Accelerates Growth.

The project received a $200,000 matching grant from the state-run Maine Technology Institute, meaning funds raised for the project will get matched up to $200,000 by MTI, according to Mainebiz. The fund will be administered by the Maine Community Foundation, and the University of Maine, MTI and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development will serve as advisers for the project.

Those entities also were partners in the Blackstone initiative.

Knox said in a prepared statement that the group “is a groundbreaking approach to supporting innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Instead of funding new companies directly, the project aims to create programs and events it finds helpful to new and emerging businesses.

Sean DeWitt, president of nonprofit group Our Katahdin, said in a statement that the group will be a partner in Maine Accelerates Growth, or MxG.

“As we work to grow prosperity and opportunity in the Katahdin region, MxG allows us to plug into a statewide network of doers and programs, as well as the networks of resources across Maine and the nation, that can help us achieve the goals of our region,” DeWitt said. “We also know that innovators from the Katahdin region are well positioned to contribute their ideas and hard work to help build the capacity of this statewide effort.”

The Blackstone Accelerates Growth program, which operates “innovation hubs” around the state, will continue through the end of the year.

SEE COMMENTS →