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July 12, 2018

Interactive map of Maine business startups unveiled

Courtesy / Big Room Studios
Courtesy / Big Room Studios
Big Room Studios launched an interactive map this week that charts 200-plus startup businesses in Maine.

Big Room Studios, the Portland software design and engineering firm behind the Maine Mariners logo, has crafted a detailed, interactive map of Maine's 200-plus startup businesses.

The map, which went live this week, took six months to put together and was a "labor of love," said research and development team leader Emily Straubel.

Along the way, she was surprised to learn of unexpected industry clusters that have sprouted up organically, and sees "incredible opportunity" for growth when business clusters work together to promote common interests.

The map visualizes each business by industry such as aquaculture, electronic commerce, food and beverage, financial technology and and various others.

It also reflects companies' size according to the current growth stage, from launch to maturity or exit.

"I hope visualizing these clusters on the map inspires leaders in those communities to collaborate and reach out to newer startups and help them grow," Straubel told Mainebiz. "That was the primary reason we chose to include some of the larger corporations like WEX, IDEXX and CashStar alongside the startups."

"We want to them to see how integral they are to the startup ecosystem even long after they've matured as companies', she added.

Big Room Studios, founded 15 years ago and based at Thompson's Point, works mainly with large enterprises but actively promotes high-growth startups in Maine.

It does that by hosting workshops and sponsoring events that support the startup community, and by working closely with organizations such as SCORE and MTI to provide consulting services to non-technical startup founders building tech products.

The team finished the web application in mid-June and spent a few weeks getting feedback from businesses and organizations before this wrek's official launch. .

"This is an open tool for the community so anyone can recommend a startup or change the information that is featured to be more accurate," Straubel said.

Tim Mateosian, co-founder of Big Room Studios, noted in a news release that the map isn't just a resource for startup founders, but for anyone interested in growing Maine's economy.

"This map should help you do that," he said.

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