On March 16th, the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) convened leaders from the Cleantech Open Northeast in Portland to meet with entrepreneurs, executives, and investors. The event brought together over 65 people, including:
- Entrepreneurs accelerating big ideas in energy and environmental solutions;
- Executives offering to mentor Maine's startups;
- Lawyers, investors, and others curious about emerging companies in Maine;
- Community members looking to expand their cleantech network and celebrate Maine's innovation economy.
"The Maine Technology Institute is proud to be investing in Maine energy and environmental entrepreneurs," said Joe Migliaccio of Maine Technology Institute (MTI), which has invested in E2Tech to help Maine companies access the Cleantech Open and other programs.
"Maine innovation is booming," said Don Gooding, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED). "From initiatives like MCED's own world-class Top Gun accelerator to complementary opportunities like the Cleantech Open, Maine is a potent place to be creating and commercializing energy and environmental solutions."
"In just the past three years, six Maine-based companies have competed in the program, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars of capital and mentoring through our network. We're thrilled that more and more Maine entrepreneurs are applying to the 2015 class," offered Katie MacDonald, Executive Director of the Cleantech Open's Northeast Division, headquartered in South Boston's innovation district.
"The Cleantech Open helped to clarify our business model and prioritize our development plan," testified James Knight, founder and CEO of PelletCo, a Cleantech Open 2012 alumnus and Orono-based company selling renewable heat from Maine pellets. "It [the accelerator] especially helped us clarify our product description to customers and investors."
"The Cleantech Open is an outstanding experience, with outstanding programs, great management, super mentors – and an unbelievable network of warm connections," said Geoff Lamdin, a Brunswick entrepreneur who led two different Maine companies to compete in the Cleantech Open in 2013 and 2014, and who has also served as a mentor to MCED's Top Gun program for six years.
Every day, we hear of more and more Maine entrepreneurs commercializing companies that save their customers energy or water, heat and light our homes more cleanly, and deliver more efficient transportation. It's a natural next step for E2Tech to help these innovators connect with investors, mentors, and peers across the Northeast. We're proud that homegrown energy and environmental innovation is accelerating the economy for all Mainers.
By Bonnie Frye Hemphill on in Northeast