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PR: Skowhegan Savings Sponsors Third Annual Dirigo Labs Pitch Competition Prize of $25,000

March 12, 2024

Prize to be Awarded to Top Cohort Company on May 22 in Waterville

Waterville, ME 3/12/2024 – Dirigo Labs is delighted to announce the continued sponsorship of the pitch competition prize by Skowhegan Savings Bank for its third cohort of startups. The accelerator’s pitch competition is scheduled to take place at the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville on Wednesday, May 22, from 5-8 pm.

“Skowhegan Savings is committed to supporting local businesses, aligning with our core values of making our communities better places to live and work,” said David Cyr, president and CEO of Skowhegan Savings. “This partnership with Dirigo Labs embodies our dedication to providing entrepreneurs with the essential tools for success and fostering innovation that contributes to the prosperity of those communities. Reflecting on the journey of 12 impressive applicants from last year, we look forward to seeing the positive contributions that this year’s cohort will bring to our state’s economy.”

The 16-week program, which commenced on February 2 and is based at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville, guides startups through a targeted curriculum while assisting founders in executing individual project plans. Each cohort company is matched with a curated board of local and national advisors. Workshop topics include financial modeling, leveraging public-private sector grants, customer acquisition strategies, capital planning, and intellectual property evaluation. Dirigo Labs’ third cohort features 12 startup companies spanning various industries such as healthtech, outdoor recreation, artificial intelligence, and clean energy technologies. 

Dirigo Labs’ Managing Director Susan Ruhlin conveyed appreciation for the ongoing collaboration with Skowhegan Savings Bank, emphasizing the bank’s instrumental role in supporting startup companies within Dirigo Labs. Ruhlin expressed, “With the continued support from Skowhegan Savings Bank, we can provide crucial backing to Maine’s innovators. This partnership empowers us to facilitate the transformation of their ideas into reality, fostering economic growth and prosperity for our state’s burgeoning startup community.”

Judges for the pitch competition will evaluate startup presentations based on their communication, capital strategy, innovation, strength of the team, and potential economic and social impact in Maine. The May 22 event is the culmination of the 16-week program.

Dirigo Labs Program Manager Emalee Hall highlighted the critical role the pitch competition plays in determining the future direction of the startups involved. She noted, “Our startup showcase is a significant milestone for our participating founders, serving as a stage to unveil their achievements while participating in our cohort. This presents a thrilling chance for the innovators to demonstrate their development and their possible impact on Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

For further information about Dirigo Labs, including details for startups and potential mentors, please visit 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 who are 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. For more information, please visit www.dirigolabs.org

Last modified: March 12, 2024

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