GORHAM — Gorham Savings Bank has selected five Maine businesses as the finalists of its 7th annual LaunchPad small business competition.
From an applicant pool of over 150 businesses, Casco Bay Creamery, CourseStorm, GO Lab, Sidewalk Buttler and Vintage Maine Kitchen rose to the top and will move onto the next round – a live pitch competition to be held Tuesday, June 4 at USM’s Hannaford Hall in Portland.
In front of a live audience, an independent panel of judges will decide which of these small-but-promising Maine businesses will be awarded the $50,000 grant from Gorham Savings Bank. LaunchPad judges are entrepreneur and co-founder of Safe Handling Inc., Ford Reiche, Logically CEO and co-founder Chris Claudio, and Catherine Cloudman, shareholder and board member, Village Fertility Pharmacy. Business consultant Michelle Neujahr will emcee again this year.
“Our preliminary judges selected an extremely diverse group of small businesses this year,” said Steve deCastro, president and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank. While each of this year’s finalists operates in a different niche, common threads among them highlight what Maine is known for nationally, its natural resources, sustainable products and innovation.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is clearly alive and well in Maine – we really do have such talented entrepreneurs working hard to make our state an attractive place to work, live and eat. We’re looking forward to learning about the story and people behind each business next month.”
In its third year, the Emerging Idea Award is a $10,000 grant that comes with an additional $10,000 worth of in-kind marketing, business development and public relations services. This year’s Emerging Idea finalists, selected from LaunchPad applicants are Friday (Portland – Luke Thomas), Kinotek (Orono – David Holomakoff, Justin Hafner, Jon Gagnon, Patrick Breeding), Lobster Unlimited (Brewer – Cathy Billings, Dr. Robert C. Bayer, Stewart Hardison, Mathew Hodgkin), MyBodyModel (Portland – Erica Schmitz) and OpBox (Portland– Emily Davis, Ben Davis). Each finalist will have the opportunity to submit a 60-second pitch video, which will be played at the event. The Emerging Idea Award winner will be announced just before the LaunchPad winner at the live event.
Casco Bay Creamery (Portland – Jennell Carter, Alicia Menard, Andrew Menard, Sue Konkel) , a returning finalist from 2015, provides creamy, delicious butter and cream cheese to customers who want to make breaking bread a joyful occasion.
CourseStorm (Orono – Brian Rahill, Matt James) provides simple online tools for class registration that help educational organizations save time and money while increasing enrollments.
GO Lab (Belfast – Joshua Henry, Matthew O’Malia) makes nontoxic, renewable, wood fiber insulations that cost the same and perform better than commercially available insulations.
Sidewalk Buttler (Scarborough – Mike Roylos, Nan McLaughlin) designs, manufactures and distributes the leading cigarette litter receptacle, which removes, reduces and recycles cigarette waste.
Vintage Maine Kitchen (Freeport – Kelly Brodeur) makes small batch Maine potato chips that transport boomers with nostalgia, wow millennials with flavor and impress chefs with technical proficiency.
Headquartered in Gorham, Maine since its founding in 1868, Gorham Savings Bank is a depositor-owned community bank delivering a full suite of financial services tailored to the needs of Southern Maine’s businesses and consumers. As the only bank headquartered in Cumberland County, GSB serves and supports businesses that value local management, know-how and accountability. The bank offers consumer savings accounts, personal loans, mortgages, HELOCs, CDs, IRAs and financial planning services through its 13 branches and growing network of ATMs, ITMs and mobile services. Gorham Savings Bank is a tireless advocate for the wellbeing of the communities it serves, donating thousands of volunteer hours to dozens of community-based initiatives annually. Gorham Savings Bank is a member of the FDIC. Learn more at gorhamsavings.bank.