"It's our future, let's build it together"

PR: Dirigo Labs Secures Secures $278,000 through Congressional Funding for Accelerated Growth and Tech-Forward Curriculum Development

December 14, 2023

Waterville-based Accelerator Program Leverages Federal Funding to Forge New Frontiers in Entrepreneurial Growth and Technology Transfer

Dirigo Labs’ second cohort members after the conclusion of the second Dirigo Labs Pitch Competition, held on May 4, 2023 at the Maine Film Center in Waterville

Waterville, ME 12/14/2023 – Dirigo Labs has received $278,000 to support the future development of curriculum and expansion of services. From the congressional fiscal year of 2023, Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) funding is included in annual federal appropriations legislation to provide a specific amount of discretionary funding for state, locality, or nonprofit organization projects with a demonstrated community merit. 

“Dirigo Labs has been instrumental in helping Maine start-ups get on their feet while also driving innovation to power the rural economy,” said Senator King. “This congressionally directed spending for Dirigo Labs will ensure Maine innovators have access to the resources and tools needed to find success in Maine and beyond. I’m proud to support these efforts and look forward to seeing the great work and ingenuity of Maine’s small businesses.”

“Dirigo Labs, supported by a CDS Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and championed by Senator Angus King, is paving the way for startup resources in mid-Maine. This award represents more than just funding; it signifies a strategic investment in the expansion and curriculum development of Dirigo Labs, supported by cutting-edge technology equipment. Simultaneously, it establishes new avenues for substantial federal funding for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs through SBIR/STTR grant opportunities. This initiative underscores a commitment to fostering innovation, empowering startups, and positioning Dirigo Labs at the forefront of entrepreneurial growth, both regionally and beyond.,” said Central Maine Growth Council Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development Garvan Donegan. 

The funding allocation increases Dirigo Labs’ capacity for entrepreneurs focusing on innovative technologies that require guidance from the public and private sectors, including mentorship. Diversifying the curriculum will provide the accelerator with the means to incorporate access to federal contracts and technology transfer funding into its programming. 

“We are honored to receive this funding, which will play a pivotal role in our expansion and curriculum development at Dirigo Labs. With this support, we will not only be able to assist startups in our region but also spread awareness about the unique funding opportunities the SBIR and STTR programs provide. We are deeply grateful for Senator King’s support and excited about the positive impact this funding will have on our accelerator and the entrepreneurs we serve,” said Dirigo Labs Managing Director, Susan Ruhlin.

Companies interested in pursuing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will work with Dirigo Labs to engage in and connect with professionals associated with Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D). For more information on Dirigo Labs, visit https://www.dirigolabs.org/

About Dirigo Labs:
Dirigo Labs is a regional startup accelerator based in Waterville, Maine. With a mission to grow mid-Maine’s digital economy by supporting entrepreneurs building innovation-based companies, the Dirigo Labs ecosystem brings together people, resources, and organizations to ensure the successful launch of new startups. Dirigo Labs operates under Central Maine Growth Council and is supported by several organizations, academic institutions, and investment firms.

Last modified: January 16, 2024

Comments are closed.