Celebrating Maine businesses and entrepreneurs since 2013! close ×

#12: Corky Ellis of Kepware speaks at Envision Maine

Corky Ellis of @kepware speaks at Envision Maine

Corky Ellis of @kepware speaks at Envision Maine

I am pleased to have the opportunity to record the Envision Maine series of entrepreneur talks and post it to my podcast for those who missed it. This talk by Corky Ellis of Kepware Technologies was originally given on December 11. With nearly 75 employees(over half of whom are engineers), Kepware is a noted success in Maine’s software landscape. They are like the Cisco Systems of industrial automation—developing the software that gets industrial machinery communicating.  

Corky has great perspective and experience, and is passionate about the opportunity for Maine to make our educational system a sustained advantage. I hope you enjoy his presentation as much as I did!  Remember “Why Not Us?”

And don’t forget to register for David Stone of Cashstar at Envision Maine on Wednesday January 8 at the Clarion Hotel in Portland!   Enter discount “Grow Maine” at checkout to receive 20% off registration.

Corky Ellis of @kepware speaks at Envision Maine
Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#11: Ry Russell of The Saco Drive In

This week, we’re joined by Ry Russell of The Saco Drive In, another awesome Ry Russell of The Saco Drive Inentrepreneur making it in the worst state in the USA for business!  Ry took over the Saco drive in two years ago, and turned it from dying to profitable in just one season by showing first run films.  But then, movie studios issued an ultimatum: no more film, we’re going digital. So with 30 days to save the theater, Ry, a facebook branding expert, leveraged his more than 25,000 fans to win a national prize from Honda Motor Company to pay for the conversion.

Like they say about entrepreneurship, jump off the cliff and put the plane together on the way down.  It was either Shut Down and Cry, or go all out.  And plus, as you’ll see, when you’ve got a portable jump starter, you’ve going to create raving fans with your customer service.

Something new this week – we’re collecting a master list, an EPIC list of resources for Maine entrepreneurs.  Of course we’ve got MTI, MCED, MITC, and MVF, but actually we’ve got more than 50 so far, and counting.   But you’ve probably got a great resource for Maine entrepreneurs that I don’t know about, so tweet it to me @growmaine, and I’ll add it to my list, and when it’s done I’ll tweet it back out with a map and contact information.

And as you may have heard, I’ve been saying ‘Don’t Be Afraid to be Awesome’ on my casts for the last few episodes.  So, I’m taking my own advice, and going to ONCE a WEEK in 2014.  The cast has been great, but it’s a little harder to promote between episodes, so I’m going for it!  Cheers!  DBATBA!

And if you want to hire Ry to work his magic for YOU, click here.


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#9: Don Gooding of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development

Don Gooding is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs.  From his days founding the single largest supplier of a capella music resources inDon recording the cast the US, to his current dual role as Executive Director of Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and Vice Chair of Maine Angels, Don is the center of Maine’s entrepreneurial universe.  He’s also one of the most engaging people to talk to that you will ever find.  So listen in as I screw up his title, and the name of his organization; yet Don still favors us all with a dose of Ol’ Blue Eyes by the end of the show.

Here’s a link to the Business Model Canvas model mentioned in the ‘cast.

Don moved to Maine to sing.  Let’s sing along.  Don’t be afraid to be awesome.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#8: John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire

John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire does the Grow Maine show logo!John Lee Dumas is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs.  Just over 365 days ago, John launched Entrepreneur on Fire, a daily podcast for entrepreneurs.  That show now has more than 400,000 listeners per month.  If you are a podcaster like me, it’s hard to get your arms around his success – it’s in a different league.  He has listeners like Breaking Bad has viewers.

I actually did my first podcast in 2007, for CorrectDeck.  I just found those episodes the other day – about 7 minutes long, recorded by putting my mp3 player on the desk and just talking about composite decking for a few minutes, and posted on our company website.  Not horrible, really  (I specifically remember recording one in my room at a La Quinta – I used to stay in cheap hotels).  But those old recordings sure don’t give you the idea that 6 years later, John Lee Dumas will have shown the true potential of podcasting.  John is a military man and a systems guy, and behind his success is a precision and execution that the podcasting world hasn’t seen before.   And he has done it in a niche the experts told him didn’t exist, producing quality content at a rate practically unmatched by anyone by building a system around producing daily interviews with a set roster of questions that has him on top of the podcasting world in just one short year,  .

I kept this episode short because were in a borrowed conference room at a busy trade show.  But we cover a lot of ground – hope you enjoy it.  And if you have a Maine resource that people absolutely should know about, like Propel or the Social Media Breakfasts that John mentions, please get that to me!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#6: Phil Coupe of Revision Energy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhil Coupe is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. Since co-founding Revision Energy in 2003, he has led the company in its installation of more than 4,000 commercial and residential renewable energy systems. The company now has more than 50 employees and four offices in Maine and New Hampshire. To fuel this kind of growth, they’ve invested in branding in unusual and effective ways, putting that Revision Energy Sun logo in unexpected places that are in alignment with the company’s sustainability mission – they support what their customers support.  And they’ve taken a leading position in social media marketing, with a full time staff member acting in that capacity.

Plus, you’ll get to hear the word ‘foment’ used in a sentence; learn how Maine’s 440,000 oil boilers make the state a target rich environment; and how much energy the sun has (which is apparently about the same amount as Phil has, as I was to find out the hard way on the mountain bike ride we completed just after recording the cast).

ReSunLogoThe conference I mention in the show was Agents of Change – great!

Kennebec Valley Community College Solar Instructor Training Network – training solar hot water engineers throughout the east.

Yes it’s true: in one hour the sun delivers enough energy to the face of the earth to power every human energy demand for an entire year.  Efficiency Maine is offering some incentives right now.

And can you believe, as we recorded this episode with our bikes, I forgot to ask Phil about his first bike? Well, it turns out it was a Schwinn.  What do you call two bicycles attached at the handlebar?  Siamese Schwinns.  Ba dum bump.

Also, during the cast, the bird dog that came up to us during the recording was a wirehair. My dog is an English Setter, and we have gotten our bird hunting season off to a good start, with several birds in the bag.

A request: take a second to like us on Facebook, and if you believe in what we’re doing, I’d really appreciate if you’d give us 5 star rating on iTunes or Stitcher. That just helps push the message out.  Yes, we’re on Stitcher now!  Stitcher is like iTunes for listening to podcasts but some people (including me) find it easier to use.

Hey, see my Mom, Joann Grohman, featured in the October Down East magazine, in a great article titled Cowgirl, written by Josh Bodwell, with photography by Patryce Bak!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#5: Fletcher Kittredge of GWI

Fletcher Kittredge is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. He’s led the company he founded in 1994, Great Works Internet or GWI, from a time when you needed to explain what ‘Internet’ in your company name meant, to today’s cloud services. A five time Inc 500 awardee (are you kidding me?  do you know how unusual that is? and yes I got it wrong in the audio, perhaps because it is so unbelievably awesome), with about 60 or so employees, and instrumental in bringing more than $20 million in federal stimulus money to the state for fiber optic internet upgrades known as the 3 ring binder, Fletcher is understated about his impact on Maine’s economy, but you and I know how substantial it as been.

Hope you enjoy this episode, and laugh along with me not at me, as my how do you cook your lobster question falls flat on its face. So let’s jump right in, and learn that the value of a network increases exponentially as the number of connections increases. A 4 person network is eight times as good as a 2 person network. And how the internet is prone to analogies about screwdrivers and butter knives…Fletcher gets ready to eat a byte.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#4: Clayton Kyle of Clynk

Clayton Kyle being escorted to the hockey rink

The remarkable thing about Clayton Kyle:  he has developed large-scale, successful businesses in two completely unrelated fields: commercial roofing insulation and beverage container recycling.  In between, he started a venture fund, and is skilled at recognizing opportunities.  When an insulation manufacturer consolidated, with no one left to serve the market, he put together a team and pursued the opportunity, developing a national business that still operates today.  When container recycling was frustrating (ever try “reverse vending”? – if so, you’re probably still in line), he licensed the technology to build Clynk, now processing more than 80 million containers a month. These startups were not based on specific technical knowledge, but rather upon Clayton’s ability to recognize an opportunity, and expertise in the business of growing businesses.

Clynk takes the frustrating out of recycling.  If you’ve seen Clynk’s branding, you know what I mean.  It’s eyecatching, and it conveys a key message: “we make recycling easy and fun”.  It even makes you feel a little virtuous (Clayton and I are both board members of The Upstream Policy Institute, which helps promote recycling legislation).  But the thing that surprised everybody (although it seems obvious now) is that a shopper is more likely to visit a store that offers Clynk.

Plus, you’ll learn things you didn’t know about deposit bottles; what to expect if your son builds a motorized bike; and the right kind of container to buy your beer in!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#3: Les Otten of Maine Energy Systems

Juggle side viewLes Otten is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. When he bought Sunday River in 1980, there were only 30,000 skier visits per year.  By 1995, he had grown this number to more than 560,000.  Les went on to form American Skiing Company, which owned resorts all over the country, and in 2002, he formed the ownership group that purchased the Boston Red Sox and saved Fenway Park.  Learn how Les answers the phone, pick up on the fact that I don’t know what a milliner is, and see why Les Otten isn’t done growing companies.


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

#2: John Karp of Pantheon Guitars

JK shopJohn Karp is one of Maine’s most remarkable entrepreneurs.   The CEO of Pantheon Guitars, he may be our State’s best source of new ideas; in fact, he’s even got the license plate INVENT (…I know you’re disappointed someone already has it).

In addition to his duties at Pantheon, John’s also an engineer for the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which means he can help you innovate too.

Listen as we discuss John’s first bike, why more expensive things sell better, and why the CEO shouldn’t be playing a GSO.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

1 4 5 6 7