BANGOR – 10 of Maine’s most exciting new products will be showcased at Maine Innovation Nights on April 26 at the Challenger Center. Hosted by UpStart Maine, the semiannual public event invites emerging startups and growing established businesses to accelerate their growth by connecting with customers, social media influencers, and investors.
Modeled after the successful Mass Innovation Nights in Boston, Maine Innovation Nights helps local entrepreneurs attract more visibility for their new products and connects members of the state’s innovation community. Selected through a competitive process, participating businesses promote their new products or services in an open showcase and pitch presentation. Audience members vote for the Best Pitch awardee and use the collective power of social media to amplify the products they are most interested in. At the upcoming event, UpStart Maine will also recognize the 2022 Most Exciting Startup awardee.
“We are proud to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem of greater Bangor and Maine with this incredible opportunity to build exposure for new products,” explains Corey Zimmerman, founder/CEO of WanderWeb and chair of the UpStart Events Committee. “Marketing is a challenge, whether you’re just starting or have been in business for 10 years, and Maine Innovation Nights jumpstarts product launch campaigns in a really unique way by harnessing both in-person connection and social media to get the word out. ”
The 10 entrepreneurs presenting on April 26 included innovation in a wide range of industries, from food and beverage to artificial intelligence for small business. Companies include:
• A** Over Teakettle – Bloody Mary mixers and specialty food products
• Attenex – online DIY market research tool for small businesses, guided by experts
• Awen – coaching program for families and partners impacted by a loved one’s addiction
• Digitunity – matches donated computers with recipients in need to eliminate the Technology Gap
• Drone Your Own – online marketplace for drone pilots
• Flora Ex Machina – Royal ghee and holistic skincare line
• Slicpix – marketing software platform with patented interactive image technology
• The Good Crust – frozen pizza dough made of 100% freshly-milled Maine Grains
• The Milk Bottle – cocktail & mocktail mixers in sustainable packaging
• TrustedRentr – online tool that improves and simplifies the application and screening process for tenants and landlords
Each entrepreneur will receive customized mentorship in order to take full advantage of the marketing and networking opportunities offered by the event. John Fuhrman, owner of spice rub company Bub & Mutha’s, found significant value in participating in the inaugural Maine Innovation Nights in 2021. “Seeing people come in and try our products, talk about our businesses, and mingle with other area small business leaders provided yet more confidence that starting a company in Downeast Maine would have all the support and knowledge that would rival any big city,” he explains.
Maine Innovation Nights is a free event open to the public, thanks to generous sponsorship from Maine Community Foundation, Maine Technology Institute, Bangor Savings Bank, Machias Savings Bank, LG&H Certified Public Accountants, Rudman Winchell, City of Brewer, BNI, and Briggs Solutions for Business. Reserve in-person or virtual tickets at https://maine.innovationnights.com/ for the April 26th event from 4-6pm at the Challenger Center, 30 Venture Way in Bangor, and follow #getupstarted and #maineinnovationnights on Instagram. Entrepreneurs who would like to participate in the fall Maine Innovation Nights can sign up to receive updates through the UpStart Maine e-newsletter by visiting upstartmaine.org.
UpStart Maine is a coalition of entrepreneur-support programs and organizations in the greater Bangor Region. We fuel a community of export, growth, and innovation-driven startups by connecting entrepreneurs to resources, customers, and each other. Discover our events and programs at upstartmaine.org.