Celebrating Maine businesses and entrepreneurs since 2013! close ×
+

Ten Big Ideas from Dreamers and Doers at The Envision Maine Summit

Dream something big with Kerem Durdag of Biovation, Shannon Kinney of Dream Local, Shawn Moody of Moody’s Collision Centers, Melissa Smith of WEX, Jess Knox of Blackstone Accelerates Growth, Lisa Pohlmann of NRCM, Dana Connors of Maine Chamber of Commerce, John Piotti of Maine Farmland Trust, and Sean Sullivan of the Maine Brewer’s Guild.

Like what you hear?  Register to hear Shawn Moody on Tuesday Dec. 16.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Susan MacKay: Give me a cutting edge technology and a risky market

…if the idea is innovative enough, risky enough, novel enough, and has the potential to impact an entire market, then Dr. Susan MacKay of Cerahelix is ready to take it on!

Susan is founder and CEO of Cerahelix Corp. of Orono, Maine.  The company has developed and commercialized a ceramic membrane technology that provides high purity filtration under harsh conditions.

Sounds like a typical Maine high-tech business to me.  Making holes in ceramic with DNA.  Not.  But this isn’t even Susan’s first ‘big bet’ in high tech materials, and she and her team have the technical background to make this happen.

Susan was previously CEO of Zeomatrix, another materials-based startup. She has more than 20 years’ experience in materials research and characterization, including 6 years in corporate R&D at 3M Corporation. She was a member of the inaugural MCED “Top Gun” class in 2009, and a Mass Challenge finalist in 2011. Susan holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and was named a “Woman to Watch” by Mass High Tech in 2011.

 

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#19: Angus King, US Senator from Maine, on growing business in Maine

I was pleased to welcome Angus King, former Governor and current US Senator, to the Grow Maine Show!  Angus was kind enough to invite me to his understated home in Brunswick for a great discussion about what he’s reading, the perspective he’s AngusKingGrowMaineStickergained from representing the Great State of Maine in Washington, D.C., and about Forbes Magazine and how they do their rankings.

As a fellow (muuuuuch lower level) politician, I always appreciate how Angus explains things. He can go over complex concepts like how renewable energy net metering works in everyday language and have it all make sense. It’s a skill I’ve tried to learn from him.

There are two episodes of The Grow Maine Show that feature Angus King – the second is his appearance at an Envision Maine conference.

Angus also hosts his own podcast now called Inside Maine (which I think – really – that I inspired him to do). It’s very good. Here’s a link.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#17: Key Insights from Pete Vigue of Cianbro

I had a great interview with Pete and he was very generous with his time so I split it into two sections – this is the second half.  We sat down at Cianbro HQ in Pittsfield, Maine.   Here are some quick insights that I took away – what are some of yours?

-Maine people don’t want anything more than an opportunity.  When I see the pain and suffering that exists in this state, I feel guilty for the success that I’ve had.  I want to allow our people to be part of the success.

-We do some crazy stuff. When you work together and create the right environment, anything’s possible. We’ve been identified as the healthiest and safest company in the country.  There is huge opportunity in the State,  it just takes a little hard work.

-Say you’re in a situation where nobody can get enough welders to bid on a key job.  You can complain about that.  But if you train 250 welders, you’ll have 250 welders.  The other guy won’t.  The companies that have the people get the work.

-We can’t recreate the past.  In Maine, we build things.  If we look at the effect of the pulp and paper industry, 70-80% of our business was pulp and paper, now it’s 6%.  We’ve had to reinvent ourselves.   That’s how we can build components for oil fields in Brewer.

-There will be tremendous demand for well-educated and skilled people.  This is a North American and European problem.  It isn’t a Maine problem.  We have good quality of life.  We have good availability of people and resources.   Our people can do anything you put in front of them.   So we spend hugely in training, and we export our knowledge and our skill.

Lastly: Cianbro outfitted the leading search engine company’s oblong cargo vessel.  Pete is not at liberty to talk about it.  But do you wanna be invited to the party, when they finally let on what they’re doing with it?  Like the show on Facebook – it’s as good of a chance as any.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#16: Pete Vigue of Cianbro

Pete Vigue is one of Maine’s most remarkable CEOs.  He’s led Cianbro Corporation, an employee – owned heavy construction firm

Pete Vigue 2013 - head shot

based in Pittsfield, Maine, through a period of remarkable growth, and he’s done it in an unexpected way.  In the lingo of these times, Cianbro has pivoted.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

1 6 7 8