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PR: Central Maine Growth Council launches Maine Startup Census to Assess Startup Activity and Support Innovation Ecosystems

July 8, 2021

Waterville, ME 7/8/2021 – Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC) has initiated a survey to evaluate the activity, needs, and goals of  entrepreneurs in both the central Maine region and statewide. Interested parties can provide feedback regarding a variety of topics, including startup needs, business development, educational training, and investment objectives. The overarching goal is to evaluate how CMGC and area institutions can more effectively engage investors, funders, and partners to support Maine-based entrepreneurs.

The Kennebec valley region boasts several resources to support Maine’s industries and arising rural remote working opportunities through technical assistance and an emerging ecosystem of innovators. In 2020, CMGC was selected as the only New England-based organization to participate in the Center on Rural Innovation’s (CORI) Rural Innovation Initiative, a national technical assistance program which supports rural communities creating digital economy jobs through innovation hub strategies. Subsequently, as a result of a successful U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Build to Scale grant in 2020, CMGC has launched Dirigo Labs, a regional startup accelerator program fostering innovation and Maine-based entrepreneurs by enhancing local entrepreneurship resources focused on nascent startups while creating targeted curriculum and investment opportunities for maturing startups. 

“Entrepreneurs are pioneering approaches that drive our local economies, catalyze creativity, and support durable innovation ecosystems,” says Garvan Donegan, CMGC’s Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development. “As the Growth Council embarks on the public opening of Dirigo Labs, we’re thrilled to launch the Maine Startup Census to cull data points and content that will help inform Dirigo Labs about the needs of entrepreneurs and Maine-based startups.”

Survey findings will inform strategic operations for Dirigo Labs, which will facilitate a 12-18 week curriculum inspired by Maine’s high-growth industry sectors such as bioeconomy, financial technology, and information technology, alongside innovation within Maine’s legacy industries of precision manufacturing, environmental technologies and the blue economy. Colby College, Thomas College’s Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation, Kennebec Valley Community College, and other regional and statewide education institutions will be sources of academic and workforce support, and Bricks Coworking and Innovation Space will provide event and work space, equipment, and curriculum design assistance.

For entrepreneurs and startups interested in providing feedback, the survey can be found live here or at https://forms.gle/T2tv1BzRLCXw86Nh8. For more information on Central Maine Growth Council and Dirigo Labs, please visit https://www.centralmaine.org/region/dirigo-labs/.

About CMGC

Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), located in Waterville, Maine, is a public-private collaborative regional economic development partnership funded by municipalities and businesses who share a common vision of economic prosperity for our region. CMGC is committed to fostering a robust regional economy. Our belief is that the standard of living and quality of life of our citizens is best served by a vibrant, healthy economy. This is accomplished with a strong successful business community.

Last modified: July 8, 2021

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