Husson to Host Next Big Gig Networking & Pitch-Off Event

Posted Jan. 16, 2014, at 10:12 a.m.
Poster for 2/11/2014 Big Gig
Poster for 2/11/2014 Big Gig

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Location: Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, Husson University, 1 College Circle, Bangor, ME

For more information: Paul Riechmann; (207) 866-0068;

Summary: After a pair of successful Big Gig events (in October & December), both of which got first-rate press coverage, the Big Gig Steering Committee is encouraging entrepreneurs and innovators to sign up to pitch their ideas at the upcoming third event.

Each pitch-off applicant gets to practice their pitch at the preliminary Little Gig, where our team of experienced – but kind! – advisors will give them encouragement and tips on how they might refine their presentations – and then will select three of them to move on to the Big Gig event a week later. The winner of the Big Gig pitch-off receives $100 that night plus a chance to compete at the Big Gig Finale in April for the $1,000 grand prize.

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

When: 3rd of 4 events will be held 5:30 pm, Tuesday, February 11th (see Schedule)

Where: Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, 1 College Circle, Husson University. (207) 973-1053. Executive Director: Nancy Forster-Holt.

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. You also can participate either by pitching or voting for your favorite.

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.

Pitch-Off Details: The pitch-off is actually two events held a week apart. The first event is the Little Gig, where our team of experienced – but kind! – advisors encourage the pitchers, help refine their trial presentations, and then select three of them to move on to the next stage. The second event, about a week later, is the Big Gig itself. On that night, each of the pre-selected pitchers delivers a three to five minute elevator pitch (no PowerPoint or handouts) about their business or idea.

Thus, in order to pitch at the Big Gig, anyone interested must sign up ahead of time and participate in the Little Gig at 5:00 pm Monday, February 3rd, at Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor. The deadline for pitch-off applications is 5:00 pm Friday, January 31st.

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 (details below). 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 – plus the opportunity to network with other innovators, entrepreneurs, funders, and providers.

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 third Big Gig, the panel of local Big Wigs will include:

• Steve Holt – Owner, Shaw & Tenney, Orono.

• Dorathy Martel – Community Development, Eastern Maine Development Corp.

• Cathy Conlow – City Manager, City of Bangor

Other: Array of fresh appetizers & cash bar.

Cost: Free

Schedule of Big Gig Events:

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

• (Concluded: 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