From the community

Big Gig Networking & Pitch-Off Event for Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Posted Dec. 04, 2013, at 3:54 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 04, 2013, at 5:45 p.m.
Poster for December 10th Big Gig
Poster for December 10th Big Gig

Summary: An exciting new partnership between Orono, Old Town, UMaine, Husson, and Blackstone Accelerates Growth is staging a series of “Big Gig” events to help foster a network of entrepreneurs and innovators and to encourage them to develop and implement their ideas – with the hope of creating positive change and economic impact in our local communities.

The Big Gig in October was well-attended and successful, with several innovators pitching their ideas and getting constructive feedback from an array of experts. For her vote-winning “Who’s Your Daddy” phone app, Sarah Newcomb got $100, the attention of entrepreneurship promoters, media coverage, and an invitation to compete in the April Big Gig finale.

When: Tuesday, December 10th, 5:30-7:30 pm (second of four events; see Schedule)

Where: Kosta’s Bar & Grill, 268 Main Street, Center of Old Town. Phone: 827-5200

Who: Big Gig is an unprecedented partnership between the towns of Orono and Old Town, the University of Maine, Husson University, and Blackstone Accelerates Growth.

• Orono Economic Development Corporation

• Old Town Development LLC

• Foster Center for Student Innovation, University of Maine, Orono

• Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, Husson University

• Blackstone Accelerates Growth

Series Sponsor: Blackstone Accelerates Growth – An exciting initiative to promote entrepreneurship and growth to create jobs in Maine. It seeks to shape and accelerate the path to starting, building, and growing successful companies in Maine and to create a culture of success that can support economic growth for years to come. Big Gig is a key element in BxG’s support of the Bangor Innovation Hub.

Prize Sponsor: University Credit Union – Serving the students, employees and alumni of Maine’s University System, UCU is a unique financial solution whose mission is to actively advance the financial well-being of its members in every stage of their lives.

Big Gig Goal: To create a network of innovators and entrepreneurs looking to make positive change and bring economic impact to our communities.

Why Attend: To network, meet other innovators and entrepreneurs – and the folks in our community here to help and support you. Enjoy good food and a cash bar. Participate either by pitching or voting for your favorite.

Pitch-Off Details: Entrepreneurs and innovators interested in pitching must sign up ahead of time to deliver a three-minute elevator pitch (no PowerPoint or handouts) about their business or idea. The deadline for pitchers to submit their online application was 5:00 pm Monday, December 2nd.

Pitch coaches met with the Big Gig applicants at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 3rd, at Eastern Maine Development Corporation, listened to their trial presentations, and offered free pitch coaching to prepare them for the big day. The coaches will select the three pitchers for the December 10th pitch-off.

The evening of the Big Gig, each of the three selected pitchers delivers their pitch and receives constructive feedback from our panel of local Big Wigs. But ultimately it’s the audience who decides who the big winner of the night is.

Regardless of who wins, all participants get free publicity for their amazing idea.

Prizes: At each of the first three pitch-offs, the winner receives $100 that night plus a chance to compete at the Big Gig Finale for the $1,000 grand prize. All prizes donated by University Credit Union.

Big Wigs: The panelists will be different at each event. At this second Big Gig, the panel of local Big Wigs will include:

• Deb Neuman – Radio talk show host, entrepreneur

• Joe Cyr – President, Cyr Bus Line, Old Town

• Tim Griffin – Owner, Community Cellular (5 U.S. Cellular locations)

Other: Array of fresh appetizers & cash bar.

Cost: Free

Schedule of Big Gig Events:

• (Concluded: October 22nd, 2013 – Verve in Downtown Orono)

• 5:30 pm, Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 – Kosta’s Bar & Grill, Old Town

• 5:30 pm, Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 – Dyke Center for Family Business

• Finale – 5:30 pm, Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 – Foster Center for Student Innovation

Photo Ops: Yes, media welcome and encouraged to attend!

More Info: Big Gig website, Facebook, Twitter

Contact:

Paul Riechmann, Board Secretary, Orono Economic Development Corporation.

Landline: (207) 866-0068. Mobile: (207) 991-2947. Email: priechmann@roadrunner.com

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