January 9, 2018

Top Gun pitch competition winner to take home $25K this year

Courtesy / Maine Center for Entrepreneurs
Courtesy / Maine Center for Entrepreneurs
Thrivant Health was the 2017 winner of the $10,000 cash prize sponsored by the Maine Technology Institute in last year's Top Gun Showcase competition. Pictured, from left to right, are: Brian Whitney, president of Maine Technology Institute; Michael Royals, founder, Thrivant Health: Joe Migliaccio, MTI; Lou Simms, MTI; Greg Lee, MTI; Martha Bently, MxG; Tom Rainey, executive director of Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development. This year's prize has been increased to $25,000 thanks to MTI's sponsorship.

The winner of this year's Top Gun Showcase pitch competition will get $25,000 in prize money, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs announced on Monday.

A sponsorship from the Maine Technology Institute will raise the cash prize from $10,000 in previous years.

As always, the prize will be awarded after the Top Gun Showcase pitch competition in the spring at the completion of MCE's annual entrepreneurial training program.

MCE was previously known as the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and is in the process of rebranding, executive director Tom Rainey told Mainebiz via email.

Brian Whitney, president of MTI, said in a statement that the institute is "thrilled to be able to increase the prize to $25,000 to help further accelerate the success of promising Maine startup business."

Besides MTI, the MCE is supported by FocusMaine, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Camden National Bank, and the Upstart Center for Entrepreneurship. Other corporate sponsors, local businesses, partner organizations, program advisers and mentors also contribute to the program.

Top Gun is an annual program for competitively selected entrepreneurs that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings held in Portland, Orono, Lewiston/Auburn and Brunswick.

Starting with just a dozen entrepreneurs in Portland in 2009, Top Gun has helped a total of 175 entrepreneurs across the state accelerate their businesses.

The program will be expanded this year to include the aquaculture sector.


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