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January 4, 2019

46 startups selected for 2019 Top Gun program

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs announced 46 businesses have been selected for the Top Gun 2019 Class.

The Jan. 3 announcement was made along with the center's partners University of Maine, Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, MaineStream Finance and Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College.

The program added a Waterville food, beverage and agriculture focus this year, resulting in the program's largest number of participants yet, according to a news release from the center. In 2018, there were 35 participants.

The Top Gun program is entering its 10th year. Beginning in 2009, Top Gun has helped more than 200 Maine entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies, the release said

Entrepreneurs selected for each region completed a rigorous application process that included submitting a pitch deck, pitching their business, and one-on-one interviews with program staff and volunteer business leaders. Before the program begins in early February, each business will be matched with a mentor.

Top Gun consists of hands-on training and group learning exercises taught by subject matter experts in finance, business law, marketing and other critical aspects of business development.

Top Gun received 57 applications for the 2019 program, Maine Center for Entrepreneurs Executive Director Tom Rainey said in the release.

Participants this year are:

  • Portland (regional sponsor: Preti Flaherty): Bartlett Yarns, Sticky Sweet, Beachstone Sustainable Products, Tiny Homes of Maine, Hornet Water Sports, Upbed, KB Thern LLC, Variable Gravity Products, Little Red Sauna, Victorieux Champagne.
  • Bangor (regional sponsors: First National Bank, Rudman Winchell, and City of Bangor): Aerial Sports Marketing, MariFarm LLC, ClearWater Data, Neuright, Compliant Provider, OutInMaine LLC, Healthy Hives, Vigilant Software, KinoTek, Zephyrus Simulation.
  • Lewiston/Auburn (regional sponsors: Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, City of Lewiston and Brann and Isaacson): Boba, My Waffle, Fashionuji - Sahro Hassan Oprezo, i-Tell Alert, Virtual Walkaout, Mayo Web Design and Marketing Services
  • Rockland (regional sponsor: MaineStream Finance): Affinity Guides, Gusco Consulting Inc., Custom Skills Development, Green with Envy Salon, Heal Accounting, Victory Chimes Inc., Global Packing & Shipping, Willow Moon Ventures
  • Waterville (regional sponsor: FocusMaine): Dandelion Spring Farm, MugBuddyCookies Inc., DuneBar, The Maine Crisp Company, Gert & Lil's LLC, The Maine Meal, Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants, Stoic Edge, Maine-Tex LLC, SwarmAG, Misty Brook Farm.
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