August 04, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King congratulated the Maine Center for Entrepreneurship Development (MCED), the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech), and the City of Rockland for each winning $50,000 awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
MCED and E2Tech are among 80 national winners of the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, which awards $50,000 prizes to organizations that help startups become commercially viable and create jobs. The City of Rockland is one of 25 communities around the country receiving a $50,000 “Startup in a Day” award. The award will allow the city to streamline its online permit and licensing processes to help businesses get off the ground faster and easier.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurship are major drivers of our economy, and Maine is proud to have some of the more innovative organizations and communities working to promote startup growth,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “Right here in Maine, visionary thinking from groups like the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and E2Tech are helping businesses succeed and create jobs. And municipalities like Rockland are recognizing that these small businesses can act as catalysts for local development. We commend MCED, E2Tech, and the City of Rockland for these well-deserved awards, and look forward to continuing to work together on behalf of Maine small businesses and the communities they support.”
The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, now in its second year, encourages the development of business programs – known as accelerators or entrepreneurial ecosystem models – that promote entrepreneurship through mentorships, education, and networking. The SBA initiative allows organizations from around the country to compete for $50,000 prizes totaling $4 million nationally. MCED will use the $50,000 award to fund the operating budget for its Top Gun program, which accelerates growing Maine companies through mentoring, training, and connections. The program started in 2009 with 12 entrepreneurs, and graduated 32 companies in 2015. To date, 110 program graduates have generated more than $25 million in revenue growth and 100 net new jobs. E2Tech plan to use the $50,000 to build on its work connecting Maine’s energy and environmental innovators with mentors, investors, and peers throughout the Northeast. Specific initiatives include studying the ripple effect of clean-energy development in expanding Maine’s manufacturing supply chains, and convening an “E2Tech Expo” this fall focusing on Maine’s energy, environmental, and cleantech sector.
President Obama announced the “Startup in a Day” initiative earlier this year, aiming to help cities and Native American communities streamline the licensing, permitting, and other requirements needed to start a business in their areas. The goal is for entrepreneurs to be able to apply for all these necessary requirements within one business day. Rockland is one of only four “Startup in a Day” award recipients in New England.