Celebrating Maine businesses and entrepreneurs since 2013! close ×

Sam Mateosian of Yarn Corp

Sam Mateosian

Part designer, hacker, artist, and entrepreneur, Sam Mateosian is CEO and co-founder of Yarn Corporation, the maker of Driftspace – a new platform for creating and publishing stories in Virtual Reality combining immersive video and interactive 3D content. Our mission is to empower more people and organizations, from big brands to nonprofits, to share their stories using immersive media.

We’ve published interactive VR experiences on a wide range of topics including: Maine island and coastal communities, Somali refugees, kelp aquaculture, migrant farming, promotions for mobile phone brands and service providers, and work supporting at-risk youth in India.

Additionally, Sam is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Big Room Studios, a software development firm that provides digital product design, consulting, and software engineering services for cutting-edge web and mobile applications.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Lucky to be Different, with Khaled Habash of Blue Lobster Gift Shop and Scenic Route Maine Tours

Khaled and family

Khaled and Jen Habash are both adventurers at heart.  Khaled grew up in the deserts of the Middle East while Jen was raised on the farmlands of central Maine, yet both share the same wanderlust and love of travel. They have traveled both solo and together throughout the world.

On a whim, Khaled packed his bags and headed for Juneau, Alaska; Jen soon followed. There, he sold shore excursions to cruise ship passengers and Jen spent her time as a tour guide. As luck had it, this set the blueprint for the next great adventure. After four great summers in Alaska, they came back home full of experience, enthusiasm and a family; thus The Scenic Route Maine Tours & The Blue Lobster Gift Shop were born.

Don’t miss this story of listening to the customer when your assumptions were wrong from Day 1, and using that management & learning style to handle the pandemic pivot.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Pete Murray, CEO of DAVO Sales Tax

Pete Murray

As the CEO of DAVO Sales Tax , Pete leads a talented team focused on removing the hassle of sales tax management from the to-do list of business owners and managers across America. DAVO integrates with popular Point-of-Sale systems such as Clover, Square, and Toast to set aside sales tax daily for merchants and then file and pay it to the state when due. With DAVO, merchants no longer need to even think about sales tax – “Sales Tax on Auto Pilot”.

Joining DAVO on the back of a career in entrepreneurial businesses, Pete brings a strong technology background and proven leadership experience to DAVO. He believes that DAVO is the company to bring sales tax management into the modern age and is leading the DAVO team to deliver on this belief. Pete is also an avid sailor, skier and enjoys spending time with his family in Freeport, Maine.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Whit Richardson of Maine Startups Insider

Whit Richardson

Whit is an award-winning journalist and communications professional. After more than a decade in the newspaper business, during which time he won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Whit took his experience crafting narratives and distilling complex topics into easy-to-understand terms to the corporate world. Until recently, he led communications and investor relations for 4Front Ventures, a publicly traded company operating in the legal cannabis industry. Whit led 4Front’s communications and marketing efforts from its nascent stages to emerging from stealth mode to ultimately going public in the summer of 2019. During that time, Whit was instrumental in developing the communications strategy that the company used to raise more than $35 million.

Whit is also the founder of Maine Startups Insider, which provides news, resources, information, and events for Maine’s startup founders and innovation-focused companies.

Learn more about Whit’s consulting partnership, Brickyard Collective.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Les Otten of Maine Energy Systems

Les Otten has been a leader and an innovator throughout his nearly five-decade entrepreneurial career – in a wide range of pursuits including business, tourism, alternative energy, community development and philanthropy. Here are but a few of Les’ accomplishments.

At Sunday River Ski Resort, Les took a tiny, struggling ski mountain in western Maine and turned it into one of the most successful resorts in America.

Les put together an ownership group to buy the Boston Red Sox and served as vice chairman and partner in the franchise from 2002 to 2007 when they won the World Series twice. Les spearheaded the effort to save Fenway Park and today (prior to coronavirus), fans of Red Sox Nation travel from all over the world to make pilgrimage to the refurnished Fenway Park.

Les founded Maine Handicapped Skiing, now named Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation, with Omar D. “Chip” Crothers, M.D., to ensure access to and participation in recreational sports that are integral to a well-rounded life for every person. Maine Adaptive is the largest year-round adaptive recreation program east of the Mississippi for adults and children with physical disabilities.

In 2008, Les directed his energy and passion to the renewable energy sector and founded Maine Energy Systems (MESys), the premier assembler and distributor of the most efficient, cleanest, state-of-the-art wood pellet boilers and furnaces. In recent years and especially as climate change has crept into the forefront of many conversations, Les has been pushing for modern wood heating to be adopted en masse within the Northeast US. Les is passionate about modern wood heating and understands the impact that each home switching to pellet heating can have by reducing the home’s heating carbon footprint by 86%.

As evidenced by his efforts to grow the ski industry, save Fenway Park, and act on climate change, Les agreed to help develop a viable path for The Balsams Resort, Dixville Notch NH. For the last 5 years, he has been assembling this project into a significant year-round economic driver for Coos County NH which is suffering from staggering unemployment and underinvestment.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Lou Simms of Maine Technology Institute

Taking some downtime away from the office during the coronavirus outbreak and thinking about your next startup? Well you came to the right place. Learn how to apply to MTI from Lou Simms, who serves as a Senior Investment Officer at Maine Technology Institute. Lou joined MTI in 2015 and truly relishes the opportunities to work with Maine’s aspiring entrepreneurs – dedicated to supporting the growth of Maine’s innovation economy on a daily basis.

Lou joined MTI after finishing his Master’s work at the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute and Organic Dairy Research Farm – and Lou has prior experience running small businesses in Portland, ranging from rocking bowling alleys to financial literacy counseling.

Originally from Kentucky, Lou is inspired by the natural beauty and unique sense of community here in Southern Maine – and he can think of no better place for he & his wife to raise their young son!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

John Konsin of Prapela

John Konsin of Prapela

A 2x CEO, John is the principal founder and CEO of Prapela, Inc.; a company introducing new technology to help newborns breathe, relax and sleep. John previously held leadership and executive positions at four different Fortune 200 companies and one FTSE 100 company. He has led or assisted in the generation of more than $5.4 billion in revenue and launched over 100 new products. John’s experience includes work in the medical device, diagnostic, medical imaging, durable medical equipment, biologics, wearables, genetic testing, hospital supplies, and consumer products markets. For over 35 years, he has worked closely with Physicians and leaders in Pediatrics, Sports Medicine, Orthopedics, Pain Management, Ob/GYN, and Cardiology. John started his career as a marketing analyst, which led to additional roles in business development, sales, operations, product development, and ultimately to general management. More recently, John is the principal investigator on an NIH/NIDA SBIR research project into neonatal abstinence syndrome and is speaking at events and in Grand Rounds on our opioid epidemic and its impact on opioid-exposed newborns. John holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University and an MBA from the University of Colorado.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Brian McLaughlin of Amplify Additive

Brian McLaughlin of Amplify Additive

Brian R. McLaughlin is the President & CEO, and Founder, of Amplify Additive, a Additive Manufacturing service provider with a focus on Orthopedic Implant manufacturing. At his uniquely outfitted facility in Scarborough, ME, they 3D print Titanium using advanced equipment from GE Additive. The equipment is highly specialized and operates under vacuum at elevated temperatures to provide material properties that exceed industry standards at the highest quality. “By 3D printing Titanium with this Electron Beam Melting technology, we are able to produce implants that not only have never been able to be designed and manufactured before, but provide a better quality of care for patients.” Brian graduated from the University of Vermont in 1998 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is passionate about Orthopedics and is fortunate to have found this career path where he is now helping lead the use of next generation technology for the design and manufacturing of life enabling technologies.

Brian resides in Yarmouth, ME with his wife Karen and 2 boys, Baden and Adam. Brian and family recently relocated back to Maine in 2017 after being in Connecticut for 9 years. Prior to that they lived in Portland where Karen and Brian met and started their family. “We are so happy to be back in Maine, we missed it when we lived in CT and visited as often as we could.” Brian is very active, with a passion for both skiing and soccer. As for soccer, he still loves to play weekly, and has volunteered as a coach over the past 10-12 years.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Rachel Knight of Destination Occupation

Rachel Knight of Destination Occupation

You won’t want to miss this story. Rachel Knight was hours from closing her three-year-old business. She set up a meeting with her biggest client to break the bad news – she was going to have to close Destination Occupation.

But the client had news for her – that wasn’t going to happen.

Three years later, not only is Destination Occupation, which helps employers grow their workforce by introducing them to potential employees they’d never meet otherwise, still in business – the company is growing and thriving.

Founder & CEO Rachel Knight is a Maine native. She graduated from Bangor High School in 1982, and has an undergraduate degree from UMaine Orono in International Studies. In her late 20s she started horseback riding and volunteering with a therapeutic horseback riding program for people with disabilities. From that experience, she set a career course on special education and got a master’s degree in Exceptionality (Special Education).

In 1996, Rachel received her master’s from the University of Southern Maine and taught content area subjects (History and English) to students with disabilities and logged many hours helping students explore options for post­-secondary opportunities, a.k.a Transition Planning. It is from this experience that the idea of Destination Occupation was born. There are so many more opportunities and options for students than could ever be covered from high school field trips. So the idea of creating a library of videos for students “visit” a variety of businesses and educational programs from their high school felt like a deal changer, a “no brainer,” especially in a state as geographically challenged as Maine.

But the pivot, to find the pain point and figure out who the customer really was (hint: it’s not the school or the students) took years to determine.

Brought to you by the Maine Technology Institute.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

1 2 3 5